The world is about to get a bit more virtual with augmented reality technology, a move that could expand a business’ advertising and customer connection platform.
Seeing the World Through Virtual Colored Glasses
Augmented reality, or a type of virtual reality tool (such as HP Autonomy's Augmented Reality Aurasma App) that connects computer technology to the physical world looks like it might become less of something from science fiction and more of an everyday device.
Along with flying cars and cyborgs, the ability to see an alternate world superimposed over an often-dreary reality has long been envisioned as status quo in our future society,” wrote Rachel Pasqua.
According to Laurie Sullivan, a new report from ABI Research suggests that developers will spend a fair amount of their budgets, about US$ 670 million or 68 percent on augmented reality technology this year. In the next five years this amount will increase to US$ 2.5 billion.
The reason behind this investment is the possibilities that these devices can bring about. People will have access to a cloud-based tool that has everything they would need from one single place.
For example Google is developing Google Glass, an optical head-mounted display. With it users will be able to, among other things, see the weather forecast, map a travel route, take photos, search a topic and use apps such as CNN, The New York Times, Evernote, Google+ and Gmail -- without having to use another tool.
Google Glass is an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes” wrote James Rivington.
It’s a Good Day to be a Business
While Google Glass and similar devices could prove useful for both businesses and the everyday person, they will be especially beneficial for advertisers and marketers, e-commerce companies and search engine optimization or SEO.
The ability to connect and save information in the cloud continues to support augmented reality, making it one of the fastest-growing emerging media for advertisers,” wrote Sullivan. "Through apps, advertisers will have another avenue to connect with consumers."
Along with in-app ads, advertisers could also create standalone ads that appear to the left or right side of a person’s viewing area.
For e-commerce companies, if they develop apps for these devices, it will allow consumers (for example) to see a clothing item on another person, do a quick search and then buy the item, without having to find a computer or browse through a tablet or smartphone or go to a store. According to Pasqua this will help local businesses connect with consumers much in the same way that Google currently does with its web search function.
Your existing .com content is now likely to be crawled and indexed by Google and eventually other engines for AR-based delivery via visual search,” she wrote. “Your digital content as well as your offline advertising, physical locations, and even your products and brand imagery are eventually going to be searchable.”
Whether or not augmented reality tools become a long-standing reality remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure, they are becoming publicly available and will make an impact either way.