Augmented Reality: It’s a Brave New World

March 23, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Hello, hello! Last session of Day 1. Are you ready for this? My growling stomach is telling me that I am.  I think we’re in store for a good time, though. This sounds like it’s going to be a great session.  Chris Winfield is moderating speakers Cindy Krum, Dana Farbo, Rachel Pasqua, Howard Ogden, and Tom Sipple.

I’m ready to go. First up is Cindy Krum.  In case you missed it, we interviewed her about mobile marketing last week. Check that out, but come back. Yes. You have to come back.

Augmented Reality is a physical, real world environment whose elements are merged with computer generated imagery. It’s done in real time and in semantic context with environment elements. It’s a digital layer on top of the real world.

Interesting Facts about Mobile Applications

Mobile applications existed before the iPhone. The iPhone just made them more accessible. They fundamentally change the way we think about phones.  They don’t market themselves. The AppStore is just a search engine. Apps can rank in normal Google results.

What is Augmented Reality?

  • Layar: It takes information from Wikipedia, Brightkite, etc, and aggregates the data into an augmented reality application. Pulls stuff from Wikitude, Brightkight + other applications.
  • WikiTude: Uses the video camera on your phone. You point it at different things and it brings up the Wikipedia page related to what you’re looking at. You can point it at buildings in NYC and it will tell you what buildings you’re looking at.

Augmented Reality for Marketing

With AR, you want to do one of three things: You either want to make an application, have your content included or you want to market an existing augmented reality application.

If you want to make an application…

Successful applications are useful, unique, viral, interactive and fun.  Successful AR apps are using content that is already well-tagged and has reliable  data.  Pull in good content and give credit.

Having your data included…

If you have a local business, how do you get your data included so someone will find it if they do a search?

  • Optimize all of your feeds.
  • Make them as easily parsable as possible
  • Include video – mRSS and Video Sitemap
  • Local – KML Geo-stamp
  • Submit your feeds to the Apps
  • Does all your basic SEO tasks – keyword-rich title, descriptions, comments, other

Marketing an application...

  • SEO in the App store – use keyword-rich titles.
  • Get good reviews

Apps are ranking in search results.

[Cindy FLEW through that because the speakers are tight for time. However, as usual, Cindy rocks.]

Dana Farbo is up next.

Augmented Reality Trends

  • 1 Year: Local search, finding information near me.
  • 3 years: ecommerce playing a major role in AR and AR gaming becoming more popular.
  • 10 years: Full 3D animation and Object Recognition

Augmented Reality Browser Review

One definition: An AR browser is an aggregation of categories, layered data and other elements that allow users to find and interact with them in a heads up fashion.

Cool Programs:

  • Zagat To GO: Does a good job using their data, pulling in new data, and using it in a cool way in an augmented reality.
  • The acrossair browser

Location-based advertising: They can place ads that only appears in a certain location at a specific time.  Ability for full data analysis and reporting.

Next up is Tom Sipple.

They branched into mobile apps with 6 months ago. They’ve been recognized as the #1 iPhone App for college students by US News and World Report. They have millions of downloads.

The dictionary app is more than just a word look up. There are games and they think it will become a lot more. You’ll be able to point your phone at a word and it will tell you what it means. They cross-cycle traffic between and

…and he’s done in less than 5 minutes. Okay then! More speakers like Tom.

Rachel Pasqua is next.

There are a few search apps that use AR…but few examples from big brands. So where does augmented reality fit in for performance marketers?

Examples of brands using Augmented Reality:

  • Esquire’s Augmented Reality Issue with Robert Downey Jr.
  • Star Trek movie promos
  • GE’s virtual windmills: She thinks GE used it ‘just because’ but didn’t really do anything cool with it.
  • The USPS Virtual Box Simulator: You hold up an item over your web cam and it will put a box over it so it’ll tell you what size box you need.  [Okay, that’s just freakin’ awesome!]

Imagine if the Museum of Natural history would create an app to give people a guided tour or made their exhibits come to life. She’d use that. Or if you’re in Vegas on business, an app to let you know whats happening on the strip. Maybe an app from a local realtor that would let you point your phone at a house for sale and get the info about the house.

When you bring mobile into the mix, there are all sorts of ideas of stuff you can do. She thinks we’re going to see AR encroach into all different areas. Mobile is where its at.

Mobile AR Business Models for Brands

  • Virtual demos
  • Augmented retail
  • Enhanced Events
  • Location Layers
  • Experimental Education
  • In Situ

Last up is Howard Ogden. He has a sweet accent. I have a hungry stomach.

  • The Beatles: Augmented Reality tour of London & Liverpool. You can have your picture taken with The Beatles by pointing your phone at the street and a hologram will appear on the phone. What makes it interactive? They can trigger content based on the user’s location.  It plays video, audio, can send an SMS, show an image, dial a phone number, etc.
  • 3D Buildings (concept):  Gives real-scale models. Globe-like views.   It’s a real estate agency who built the app. It will allow you to find nearby locations based on rent numbers.
  • Auto-Sales (concept):  Get an auto tour, book a test drive through the app, etc.

We’re gonna move away from brand awareness and towards cause/effect sales.  We won’t be limited to mobile use only. We’ll be having AR in glasses and contact lenses

Wowsa. Some quick, but super informative presentations. How cool were the USPS and Beatles augmented reality apps? Way cool!

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