If you think augmented reality (AR) is the way of the future, Jess Butcher, CMO & Founding Director at Blippar, will tell you otherwise. Butcher spoke at PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON about Blippar, an app that uses augmented reality to help users interact with print media, mainly advertisements and photographs; however, she says, AR isn’t the point – it’s merely a tool that leads to larger, exciting advertising campaigns and a digital forum that could change the way in which we experience print.
The app, once installed on a smart phone or tablet, uses the devices camera to search for triggers or markers, which, when activated, produce an interactive augmented overlay. Examples include a cosmetics advertisement for nail polish, which allows users to ‘try on’ different colors of polish. Even when the phone moves, the overlay doesn’t disappear – it’s dismissed by an icon on the screen. This is referred to as the “peel-away effect”.
Butcher sees great potential in a platform of this kind. Users could pull up book reviews and buy the book, without a QR code. Magazines could take polls in real-time. MetroCards could even be used to display real-time API delay notices. Still, what are the advantages? First, the app allows users to be solely engaged with the brand, since they sought out the advertisement. Also, direct response could be possible between multiple users, and most exciting, it would invigorate print, a medium in danger of obsolescence. Butcher called it the “Harry Potter-ification” of print media, interacting with moving images and text.
Some highlights from the talk:
- Blippar provides mobile, visual discovery that interacts with print media.
- The app could provide a new platform for communication, retail, and entertainment.
- The focus is content medium, not AR technology.
- Invest in the content of your ads and consumer education
- Use experts to help your company achieve its best possible results.
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