What is augmented reality & how does it work?

Simply put, augmented reality is an overlay of digital content in the real world through a screen. AR has already delighted millions in the form of Snapchat’s animated emojis, Instagram’s 3D stickers, and Pokémon Go. The accessibility and simplicity of markerless AR are two of the huge advantages it has over VR, and now Apple and Google have opened it up to the masses via ARKit and ARCore respectively.

Using a phone or tablet’s camera and motion sensors, AR works by finding points in the environment, then tracking them as you move the device. It doesn’t create a 3D model of a space, but it can “pin” objects to one point, realistically changing their scale and perspective. It can also find flat surfaces, which is great for placing digital props into the real world.

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G.H. Mumm Champagne - AR

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Siemens See the Unseen AR Experience

Uses and applications of augmented reality

Augmented reality can be used to allow consumers to interact with products before they buy. For example, it can show how a sofa might look in their living room or a car on their drive. It can be used to decorate a space or visualise a restaurant menu, add player stats to a football game or even unlock prizes. The possibilities are endless.

AR offers the latest way to engage with audiences en masse, and will further blur the line on what an advertisement is. But brands need to be relevant, useful and/or entertaining to succeed. AR shouldn’t just be used as a gimmick; it should be used to help drive affinity by making everyday life that little bit easier, or purely bringing a bit of magic into our world.

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