Augmented reality (AR)—10 years ago, this technology would have seemed like a concept that only belonged in “The Matrix” movies. Flash forward to 2018, and this technology is no longer just a concept, it’s the next big thing… especially in the promotional products industry. In fact, according to Digi-Capital, AR and virtual reality are expected to grow to $108 billion by 2021, with mobile phone AR leading the way. Doesn’t this seem like a branding opportunity you could get behind? With tech giants like Apple making AR more accessible to the everyday consumer, it’s easier than ever to break into this market.
If the idea of incorporating AR into your marketing mix seems inaccessible and intangible to you, fear not. Here’s everything you need to know about AR.
What is Augmented Reality?
In order to incorporate AR into your promotional product strategy, you have to understand what it is. In simplest terms, it takes an outside computer-generated image and overlays it in a user’s current view. An example of this technology at work is the hot sensation, Pokemon Go, the app that utilizes a player’s smartphone camera to overlay images of fictional creatures on a user’s phone, making it look like there are Pokemon directly in the immediate surroundings.
Another example is IKEA, whose catalog uses augmented reality to give a virtual preview of furniture in a room. And for SXSW, National Geographic promoted its new series “Genius” by using AR headsets to let viewers experience Albert Einstein’s theories and research right in front of their eyes.
How Can It Help My Business?
While AR might seem intimidating and complex for your marketing efforts, it’s actually the perfect way to bring your branding to a wider audience. A company launching a new product that requires a
demonstration to truly sell its advantages could give AR enabled promotional products to prospective buyers. By scanning a promotional product with an AR app, prospective buyers can witness the interactive features and sophistication of these products from the comforts of their homes with their smartphones or tablets.
So although AR is still new, there are already tons of promotional products that allow you to tap into this exciting trend. Take for example the Magic Tile which is a fully customized fidget cube that can animate your logo. In a real-world scenario, the user can interact with the logo or product and manipulate it to create amazing pictures that can be posted directly to social media (see a demo here). It also offers AR experiences that can activate a video or URL when scanned.
In the near future, other AR enabled products such as T-shirts, bags and journals are expected to be available in the promotional products industry. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to creativity in the AR realm and it is important to jump on this trend to keep your brand ahead of the curve.
Want to incorporate augmented reality into your next promotion? Contact us!