What do you get when you take a webcam, a piece of paper and some cool 3D animation? You get augmented reality (AR). This is relatively new though it's been experimented with for a couple of years at least. In short, AR is the combination of objects in the real world being combined with virtual objects using a webcam and some programming.
Sounds pretty cool eh? You have to see it to know what I'm talking about.
[Feed readers please click through to the post for the video]
Examples you can try yourself right now:
- The symbols that it uses can be printed on anything; paper, t-shirts, ads, etc.
- Any time you want to make a physical connection with virtual objects
- Allows interaction and engagement with printed pieces
- People are working on using mobile device cameras to do this while you're on the go
- It's just plain cool. Give it a try!
BMW looks at using AR to diagnose issues and help mechanics be more efficient
Turn the real world into a huge video game
Really bring Second Life into first life
This is pretty cutting edge, so not every company is going to be comfortable with it. The hardware barrier is pretty low (webcam) so this can hit a mass audience. It's great for presenting things when in conceptual mode (architecture, cars, etc.) as well as adding interactivity to existing items.
My advice is try one of the models above and think about the possibilities in your business. The hardest part may be to stop thinking of them.
[Hat tip to the Fleishman-Hillard digital team in St. Louis for putting this back on my radar screen.]
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