Sunday, August 08, 2010

Time to Take Augmented Reality Seriously?

National Geographic mobile and National Geographic Traveler (the most read traveler magazine in the world) are early adopters of mobile tech using "Augmented Reality," as revealed in the following video:

The video is from Pat Allen of Rock the Boat Marketing on the Marketing Executives Network Group blog, who thinks Augmented Reality is going to get some good traction soon, but deserves a better name. Also from Pat's post are a fairly widely distributed video from Stella Artois showing AU in action. . .

... and the video below "to get an idea of how a tool called Hoppala! Augmentation can be used to add content that can then be linked to a physical location. Using Hoppala!, anyone, any brand can upload their logo or icon, a message, audio and video files that will then be accessed by users of the Layar augmented reality browser, available for iPhone and Androids."

She also offers a RayBan video as an example of an even more practical application.

Pat's conclusion, with which we agree: "Augmented reality technology is cool. But, as we all know by now, implementation and adoption is rarely about technology. It’s about all the other work required to leverage the technology. How does augmented reality advance a business objective or relate to a social media or marketing strategy? Are appropriate digital assets available? Who will identify, organize and manage them? How will this be evaluated? Are there copyright issues? Privacy concerns?"

Pat Allen is the founder of Rock The Boat Marketing, a Chicago-based digital marketing strategy consulting boutique specializing in financial services clients. She also runs, a site that aggregates the tweets of U.S. financial advisors. Pat’s Twitter accounts: @RockTheBoatMKTG and @AdvisorTweets.

For a further practical example, see this video on AU in eCommerce from

Finally, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of the MIT Media Lab demonstrate "SixthSense" at a TED presentation. This may have some direct commerce applications eventually (possibly like the RayBan example above) but for the moment, it is still in the development stage (thanks to Alex Torpey of Veracity Media for this reference).

See also Japanese mobile phone makers to roll out 'augmented reality.'  And the video below, from, definitely has direct commerce potential:

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