Ten years ago augmented reality was only a reality in sci-fi movies, but with the recent announcement of Microsoft’s Hololens, real augmented reality is almost here. Recently we learned that Blippar, the augemented reality platform, just raised a whopping $45 Million. This gives Blippar a huge chance to advance the AR (Augmented Reality) world to the next level.
Even when Google Glass first came out, entrepreneurs began racing to figure out the best way to take advantage of this new technology. If you take a look at Angellist you will see that there are 256 different AR startups registered.
A survey by Adobe reveals a good number of people are already starting to use augmented reality apps.
In their March 2014 report Global market research firm MarketsandMarkets’ March 2014 predicts the Compound Annual Growth Rate of AR at around 15 percent, making augmented reality a $1 billion market by 2018.
Why does this matter to CMOs?
Look at Blippar. The New York startup is working on an updated platform that doesn’t need real life markers to operate. This is a huge step in the AR field because any object can be scanned and turned into a virtual commercial. Imagine holding your phone to an electronics part and being able to tell who manufacturer that device? Or how about advertising a sale when the lens is passed over a certain product or store? The possibilities are absolutely endless.
There are few areas where B2B augmented reality might really take off. The first is at trade shows. Any B2B company is always trying to outshine its competition at a trade show. Augmented Reality marketing would make that quite simple. Imagine being able to immerse event goers in a new world, or give them your product specs quickly in a way they would never forget.
The next area where AR can take off is print and billboard advertising. It has been around since people have learned to write, and now augmented reality gives it the ability to stand out and become interactive. You can turn your handouts and flyers into full videos quickly and effectively.
Pepsi is one of the first major companies to have already taken advantage of a billboard augmented reality campaign with their unbelievable bus shelter campaign. The campaign went viral and resulted in six million YouTube views:
Another company that is taking advantage of augmented reality is Artvertiser. They are doing very similar work as Blippar. They replaced the ads in Time Square and other major tourist areas with art.
One more area that is going to take off as a result of augmented reality is the ability to try out products before you buy them. Imagine you sell manufacturing equipment. Your customer would most likely appreciate the ability to view the product from their phone in the place where they would install it.
TryLive is giving the ability to try on watches through your cellphone. (See main photo).
As you can see Augmented Reality is not only coming; it is here. It is still in its infancy but is quickly growing into an advertising channel you might want to consider folding into your B2B firm’s marketing strategy.