By Johnny Schroepfer
Last summer I came across an iPhone 3GS application called Layar, the first mobile augmented reality application. While the actual development of the app was still in beta testing, the concept was impressive and the potential possibilities it offered brands was interesting.
Augmented reality (AR) uses a mobile phone’s camera feed to merge your physical real-world environment with virtual computer generated imagery.
With emerging technology like AR, brands have a whole new area of customer contact points to take advantage of. Imagine walking down the street and launching Layar on your Smartphone to locate the nearest Target, Starbucks or even a historical landmark.
With the use of technology like AR, consumers have the ability to easily seek-out physical locations from their mobile device while brands have the opportunity to deliver location-based messages and incentives.
This year we will begin to see a significant increase in app funding and development within the mobile industry. Augmented reality will play a major part in the rise of mobile technology. But, will these technologies be embraced, or rejected, by major brands and consumers?
So, is this the true year of the mobile?
Johnny Schroepfer is the strategy & content director at Vitamin IMC and a student in the Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University's Medill School. He is a Chicago Bulls fanatic and is looking forward to another exciting Bulls playoff run. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org