Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of physical, real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The purpose of this technology is to enhance one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.
Augmentation is in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements, like sport scores during a game. AR has become common in sports telecasting. The yellow first down line in television broadcasts on Football games shows the line tat the offensive must cross to receive a first down. The real world elements are the football field and players, and the virtual element is the yellow line, which augments the image in real time. This works because artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world. With this new technology, it makes information about the surrounding real world of the user interactive and digitally manipulable.
Research explores the application of computer-generated imagery in live video streams as a way to enhance the perception of the real world. AR technology includes headed mounted displays and virtual retinal displays for visualization purposes, and construction of controlled environments containing sensors and actuators.
Now AR is starting to get picked up by advertisers and marketers. Marketers are starting to incorporate AR as new way of displaying their product. With AR needs a camera in order to work so smart phones are becoming the primary tool for AR. A very interesting application for that I found that uses AR is Car Finder by Intridea, Inc. I am sure that everyone has had a time where you might have difficulty finding their way back to their car in those huge parking lots. Well the Car Finder app allows you to create a visible marker showing your car, its distance away, and the direction in which to head to find your car. Car Finder allows you to add a note when marking the location of your car and has a built in parking meter timer. The parking meter timer will send you alerts when your time is about to expire.
With the development of technology, I think that marketers are going to use Augmented Reality increasingly. This technology allows companies to interactive with their customers more. This type of marketing is going to the future.