In all the strife around HP, the Autonomy acquisition and the fuss around trying to integrate Autonomy’s principal product IDOL into HP’s portfolio, it is often forgotten that Autonomy had other products. One of them was the augmented reality platform Aurasma, which today enters v2.0.

HP, Aurasma

It seems that HP see a role for Aurasma in its future development as the new v2.0 is being released today. This new version has been in the works for some time, with the product already having a substantial partner base in verticals including fashion, retail, sports education and entertainment.

Just to recap; Aurasma was launched in May 2011 as an augmented reality platform that uses advanced image recognition technology to merge the physical and virtual worlds.

Using a smartphone or tablet, Aurasma is capable of recognizing objects in the real world and overlaying this view with an interactive layer of the virtual world.

Within a matter of months of its launch, the product reached 1 million downloads and has now hit 5 million according to the v2.0 release announcement.

Available as a free app for iOS and high-end Android devices or as an SDK for developers, Aurasma’s core technology uses advanced image and pattern recognition to blend the real-world with digital, interactive content such as videos and 3D animations called “Auras.”

These Auras can be created for printed images, product packaging or even physical places. It is easy enough to use that non-technical users can create their own Auras with the core SDK downloaded into over 1000 Aurasma-powered apps.

Autonomy’s Aurasma

Even if Aurasma was pretty advanced and far reaching at its launch in 2011, according to HP, this is the year that it will finally take off. While HP has been saying that about a lot of its products, with this there probably is a strong element of fact to it.

Working off mobile devices, it seems that mobile technology has only really arrived at the point now where it is strong enough or powerful enough to make the best of Aurasma. There is also the fact that the mobile market will be worth around US$ 600 billion by 2016, making it opportune for Aurasma to develop and finally come out of beta.

The improvements that come with this version are, HP says, the result of 18 months’ work and a considerable amount of consultation with its partners and what they are hoping to get out of augmented reality.

Aurasma 2.0

Available for both iOS and Android, there are several performance enhancements in this version that are designed to improve the end-users experience as well as a number of improvements to the user interface that are designed to help partners create and publish AR campaigns. Enhancements include:

  • Image Recognition: This version offers a better and more robust AR experience with better image recognition and faster image tracking
  • Social functionality: The new version comes with integrated social functionality that includes share and like as well as a simplified means to find and view AR content.
  • Scalable cloud-based platform: Scale as needed to suit needs of clients when publishing 2D and 3D AR content. HP says that an Aurasma enabled smartphone is capable of recognizing over 500,000 images and objects in the real world.

There are a lot more functionalities in this app. But in the current climate, the social functionality will be particularly welcome. Aurasma allows anyone anywhere to create their own Auras and share them with their friends and social networks.

In the mobile world, it connects customers through mobile devices, and connects that mobile experience to other aspects of the marketing mix including print campaigns, outdoor advertising, direct mail, point of sale, product on shelf and even physical places.

It also has the benefit of the fact that it now belongs to HP. While HP has been going through difficult times over the past few months at a corporate level, it is still one of the biggest companies in the world and a network that truly is global. The new release of Aurasma is available for download now, but if you are interested in more, check out the video below.