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Augmented Reality - the next frontier for content and research?

Plantronics Augmented Reality Demo

Photo by Flickr user plantronicsgermany 

Working on a client memo today I found myself investigating Augmented Reality as a marketing and education utility. I find the whole notion of augmented reality fascinating as it has the potential to add a rich layer of context to just about anything. Especially when combined with location based services, AR has immense potential (ABI research sees a $3 Billion market here)

While the technology is fairly fragmented in terms of its sources and adoption at them moment, it has awesome potential as it matures. I for one would happily take a self-guided tour of Washington DC (where I live) left via video in the augmented reality space by different (presumably knowledgable) people. Imagine getting to stand on the Capitol Steps and watch an inaugural address in July, or walk through a museum that lets you access your choice of narration from the artist, critic or curator perspective. If the internet allows us to transcend the limitations of time and physical space, there is an enormous potential marketplace here for content that could never before be delivered in a scalable, sustainable way. 

Taking it one more level, the unconscious creation of meta data that we all slough off daily may be a boon to future anthropologists and family members alike. With the meta data embedded in photographs and the powerful social graph data of Facebook, could you children literally walk in your shoes through time with an AR device? 

With all the digital dust that flies off of us every day that gets stuck in the internet, I for one think this is a day that will come. The question is who is going to create and curate the content to make the experience something worth doing?

Ancestry.com, Hallmark, Smithsonian and just about everyone in between, I’m looking at you. 

Read more: 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/feb/26/mobilephones-mobile

http://www.layar.com/

http://www.wikitude.org/en/

Mar 6

Engage with an Audience, Sell a Message

So I found this little gem on the Adfreak blog a couple of weeks ago and I’ve left it open in a tab in Chrome this entire time, sharing it with friends and colleagues as conversation offered the opportunity to do so. Engaging storytelling, personalization and overall just a great piece for a local charity. The social layer is a touch clunky and I’d love if had managed to avoid using Flash, but those are pretty minor criticisms in the scheme of things. Nice work McKinney.

SCVNGR - Location based gaming platform

This merits more investigation, for clients and for fun….