What is Augmented Reality
From WikiPedia: “Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.” In layman’s terms, this means that every object you encounter life could potentially be augmented with the aid of a software program.
How It Works
You view an object through the camera on your smartphone, and information about that object pops up on your screen. The information your seeing is overlaid onto the real, live camera view, so that you see both the object as it appears and these info popups. The popups can include everything from labels, to images, interactive widgets, and fully customizable html blocks. Truly the limits on what can be overlaid seem only to be limited by imagination and development ability.
For Small Business
Have you ever sent out a mailer on behalf of your business? Ever used a flyer to promote an event? Ever handed out business cards? All of these printed materials can now utilize augmented reality to create immediate action. Imagine sending out your quarterly newsletter with the option for people to click directly from the printed newsletter and redeem their MVP (most valuable patron) coupon. No need to go to the website, find the MVP entry box, fill in a unique (sometimes hard to read) 10-digit code and submit. They skip straight to submit button with little effort, no human error.
You want to let people know each day what will be on the lunch menu? Do you have a weekly special for your repair shop? Maybe your boutique just got a new inventory of shoes? Do you have an event calendar with regular updates? All of these are great uses of augmented reality. You can create one printed piece and update the information that pops up as often as you like.
This is only the tip of the iceberg for how this could be used for small businesses. Augmented reality further levels the playing field against big box stores and giant corporations because the cost is very reasonable and the technology is already available.
Much more to come on this subject in the future…contact us today if you are ready to see what augmented reality can do for your small business marketing.
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