First, there was VR, now there’s AR.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes reality can suck. It’s never as bright and colourful as the virtual worlds in video games, cartoons or detailed CGI movies that we consume. Humanity has always sought some way to escape from reality; whether it’s through books, theatre, music or any other type of consumable media – we crave the ability to change the world around us to how we’d like it to look.
While virtual reality has been an idea that’s been around for decades now, the technology isn’t a part of our everyday lives as we have once imagined. Augmented reality, however, is infinitely more accessible to the masses due to its reliance on smartphones and tablets.
Think about if you’ve used one of these before on your phone:
- Zombies, Run! (iOS and Android) or any other interactive fitness apps
- Inkhunter for the Tattoo enthusiasts (iOS and android)
- The Measure app (iOS) or Quick Measure (Samsung/Android)
- Any video filter on a video messaging app that applies effects to your face
But beyond getting fit, getting a tattoo, or sending hilarious videos to your friends – how can we utilise Augmented Reality in a marketing capacity? Burberry has just launched a world-first marketing strategy, partnering with Google to add an AR experience for their products, accessible through Google search results (unfortunately this feature is not available in Australia at this moment).
This is going to be a game-changer for SEO agencies that want to get more of that sweet real estate on Google’s front page.
If you’re interested in seeing how other brands have utilised AR in their marketing efforts PC Mag have some great examples of brands from across the globe.
For those of us out there that aren’t drowning in Burberry handbags, how accessible is this technology? How relevant is AR to your business? These are important questions to consider, though we always think it’s a great idea to at least look into emerging trends and test them out if possible.
INSTAGRAM AR FILTERS
If your brand is popular on Instagram then it makes sense to create a custom AR filter. A large number of followers creates a community for your business; the people in that community want to engage with your brand and share their love for you with their friends. The majority of us have taken funny photos or videos of ourselves with cat faces or wearing silly hats, imagine someone sending their friends a video with your brand in it?
If you’re keen to try it out for yourself, Spark AR Studio is free software available on Windows and Mac that will allow you to create your custom filters for Facebook and Instagram. This isn’t going to be something you pick up straight away, so if you are looking to do this yourself then definitely search for some tutorials on YouTube.
CREATING 3D VERSIONS OF YOUR PRODUCTS FOR AR
If messenger filters don’t align with your business marketing objectives, but you’re still looking to utilise AR for your brand, then a valuable skill to have is to be able to render your products in 3D. These renders don’t only have to be used for AR – they can be a great way to showcase upcoming products, highlight unique features of your products without requiring a studio space, and allow customisation of your products, creating great value for potential customers.
We’re going to assume you’re pretty comfortable around using a computer to create graphics. If you’re familiar with Adobe Creative Suite (or any similar products out there), then you’ll at least have some understanding of the sort of skills (and computing power) required to do this.
Adobe Dimension is a powerful tool to apply your designs to existing 3D templates or create and customise your own. With an extensive collection of materials available and the ability to add your own, you can recreate your products with incredible detail, or create realistic 3D environments to place your products into for marketing campaigns.
Adobe Aero is a mobile app (IOS and Android) that works in tandem with Dimension to place your objects within a real-world space through the use of your tablet or smartphone.
AR IS ONLY GOING TO GROW BIGGER!
Make sure you aren’t left behind your competitors and see how you can make AR work for your business. If you’re not feeling especially savvy with creating 3D renders of your products or simply don’t have the time remember there are always businesses out there that can help.