What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) blends virtual reality and real life. It layers computer-generated visuals over an existing reality in order to change the way we can interact with it.

Augmented reality has become more important for marketers to understand, due to its mobile application and advertising implications. While augmented reality has been around as a technology for years, it’s only been in somewhat recent past that we’ve really started to experience its implications on a global and social scale.

Augmented reality apps run the gamut, from interactive map overlays and virtual showrooms to interactive games and camera functionality. One of the most widely recognizable examples of AR would be Snapchat filters, where fun graphics are layered onto a user’s face when they take a selfie.

Many big name brands have forayed into using augmented reality as a means to interact and engage with customers while marketing their products. For example, Pepsi used a bus stop to engage with people on the street as part of their “Unbelievable” campaign.

Another example of using augmented reality to engage with customers on the street was Net-A-Porter’s “Window Shopping” campaign in 2011. They created AR storefronts in Paris, New York, London, Munich and Sydney to promote their new Karl Lagerfield collection.

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