The Advent of AR Wearables
Most people are familiar with using Augmented Reality (AR) on their phones. You simply run an app and point the camera at something – and that something (be it an ad, packaging, even a person’s face) comes to life. Snapchat, Pokémon Go and Google Translate are just a few common examples.
Even more exciting to marketers is the marriage of AR with wearable technology. These developments will reshape how we play, work and live – and already have real-world marketing applications today.
Just imagine: At work in your AR wearable, you have multiple AR computer screens open at once – one for email, one for video chat and one where you are reviewing highly sensitive financial data. When a coworker enters your office unexpectedly, there’s no need to minimize the window showing sensitive details because none of your augmented screens are visible.
Later, you head to your local convention center to review preparations for an upcoming trade show. In addition to your brand’s physical presence, you also see signage and promotions for your brand lining the walls of walkways and hovering above your place on the tradeshow floor. Looking down, AR wayfinding markers on the floor lead you directly to your booth.
You stop by the grocery store on the way home. Based on your shopping list, special promotions and wayfinding guides lead you through the store, making your trip more efficient. A recipe overlay triggered by one product’s packaging gives you an even tastier idea for tonight’s dinner. Dynamic product ratings and reviews from your social media network remind you to pick up that limited-edition soda flavor for your daughter.
When you arrive home, tired and ready to relax, you use voice commands to turn on your TV – a huge 92″ screen that appears in your living room without taking up wall space. When your spouse enters the room with their own ideas for Thursday night TV, you don’t have to wrestle for the remote. Using an AR wearable they can watch a different show in the same space. While you unwind together, even the targeted ads you see are totally different – and highly relevant, apparently. By the time you’re done watching, you get a notification that three new items have been added to your shared online shopping cart!
Here’s the kicker: all of this is possible with technologies that currently exist or are currently in development.
Based on this, it appears increasingly likely that, in addition to replacing common devices like televisions, AR wearables will also replace our ubiquitous smart phones. As we pioneer this new technology, who knows what the future may hold for marketers.