What it is: More companies are using augmented reality to market their products and this will become the norm.
In the old days, every business needed to be in the Yellow Pages. When companies started putting up their own websites, they no longer needed the Yellow Pages any more. At one time, the Yellow Pages contained practically every business in a region. Now most businesses find it’s far less expensive and more efficient to simply ignore the Yellow Pages altogether.
It all boils down to marketing. When people relied on the Yellow Pages, businesses had to advertise there. When people relied on search engines and sites like Yelp, businesses have to advertise there. Where the customers go, the businesses must also go or risk falling behind. Imagine a restaurant without a website or Yelp presence, trying to advertise solely in the Yellow Pages. They would waste money on Yellow Pages advertising and attract few customers in the process.
Now the latest technology that markets have latched on to is augmented reality. IKEA offers an augmented reality app that lets you place furniture in your house to see how it might look. Restaurants plan to offer augmented reality to let you view a menu and see actual images of different dishes so you can see exactly what you’re going to get. Augmented reality is fast changing from a gimmick to a necessity. Just as businesses can no longer rely on the Yellow Pages to reach customers, so businesses can no longer ignore augmented reality as a marketing tool because if they don’t do it, their rivals will, and that will make any company not using augmented reality look archaic and out of touch.
With augmented reality catching on, iOS will be positioned to become the leader. That’s because most iOS devices can display augmented reality while most Android devices cannot. So if you ant to see augmented reality, you’ll likely have a better experience through an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad than through an Android smartphone or tablet. This means once people get familiar with augmented reality, they’ll expect it on their smartphones and tablets, and that expectation can only be met with iOS for the near future.
Android will have to rush to catch up and it will just in time to avoid missing out completely like it’s doing now. But with its early lead, iOS will lead the augmented reality movement by making it easy for developers to create augmented reality apps and make it just as easy for iOS device owners to enjoy augmented reality apps. If you’re in marketing, augmented reality will be a must.
As augmented reality moves from simple objects and games to practical applications, expect augmented reality to play an increasingly important role in society. A few years ago, using a smartphone to get driving directions seemed rare. Now it’s commonplace. A few years ago, searching for information on the Internet was the exclusive domain of information brokers. Now it’s accessible to everyone.
The same will happen with augmented reality. It’s going to be common in smartphones and tablets, and possibly wearable computers as well such as smart glasses. Virtual reality is a niche offshoot of augmented reality because virtual reality requires blocking out the real world while wearing a headset strapped to your face. Augmented reality will be as simple as looking at your smartphone or tablet, which people do already. Then augmented reality will be even more important when it appears in smart glasses.
The world is going to appear as reality and augmented reality. Any company that fails to see this might as well keep advertising in the Yellow Pages.