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Augmented Reality & How Can it Help Online Businesses?

In the 2002 film Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s character steps into a shopping mall, and the advertisements interact with him, literally. In this Dystopian future, advertising has reached a point where they’ve literally become personalized, calling people out by name, each person seeing a different kind of advertisement and is able to not only call a person’s attention, but is able to immerse and engage.

The film’s story was set in the far future, but a lot of what went on in that scene is happening now. Notice how on Facebook, the ads seem targeted specifically to you? That’s because they are. Facebook knows not only your name, but also your age, your birthday, where you went to school, where you work and the nature of your work, and the things that you like. And when you type a status update, notice how the ads change accordingly. To test this out, try typing something about Harley Davidson, iPads or burgers and see what happens to the ads that you’re seeing.

Augmented Reality takes this one step further by allowing you to interact online with the offline world. Companies such as Layar have developed an app that allows you to interact with partner businesses using your smart phone as a virtual “window” to the world.

Augmented reality employs a smart phone’s camera and GPS and displaying information about the user’s surroundings to display content about the outside world as the user navigates through it. Someone who has downloaded the application on their phone can walk through a city and see which buildings have apartments that are for rent, learn interesting facts about specific neighborhoods, and read reviews of the restaurants by people within their own social networks.

Developers can create interactive games or promotions or give out exclusive deals for your customers who use their smart phones to scan real world objects such as posters, menus, price tags and even the sign outside your shop.

Seeing the world through their devices, they will be able to see special graphics, special interfaces, and even video or animation, which costumers will find entertaining, engaging and memorable.

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