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At Mercedes augmented-reality lets gestures communicate

Some weeks ago, we have discussed the opportunity for car manufacturers with in-car internet access that KPMG sees as the “norm” in the near future. If this is to come true, then concepts like the Mercedes’ Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE) is not far of, and the car windshield might get potentially more impact in terms of delivering essential contextual driving information.

The system was shown at CES for the first time and seems not to be too far away bearing in mind that we have seen smart windows from Samsung that become TV screens. Wether this is fiction or reaality soon, I definitely like the idea and the vision that Mercedes has…

The car manufacturer envisions complete new data transfer through windshields like seeing who is driving in front of you or getting relevant traffic data or restaurant tips. What sounds promising, might also become a challenge for the driver who needs to avoid being distracted by all that data. The Mercedes concept touches all new technology options that we know from smartphones and tablets in favor of gesture-based controls that communicate information while driving.

“With the DICE sculpture Mercedes-Benz provides a visionary perspective on how the vehicle becomes an intelligent mobility partner in the future. For this Mercedes-Benz uses a combination of Augmented Reality and natural gesture control to realize a completely new form of communication between people and their environment.”

Well, just have a look and decide if you like it or not..

The near future of Augmented Reality (AR) and QR codes

Augmented reality (AR) has a glorious future according to a new market research published by MarketsandMarkets. It will be interesting to see which role QR codes play in that future as more and more technologies arise.

The new market research report “Global Augmented Reality (AR) Market Forecast by Product (HMD, HUD, Tablet PC, Smartphone) for Gaming, Automotive, Medical, Advertisement, Defense, E-Learning & GPS Applications (2011-2016)” states that the total Augmented Reality applications market will be growing by over 95% from 2011 to 2016. The research sees it reaching a market volume of $5151,74 million.

According to Comscore research almost 10% of all smartphone users have scanned QR codes in June this year. The interesting fact is that most users scan their QR codes from home (57,4%). In public only 20% use those QR scan options from outdoor advertising or in public transport.

Although screen technology (smartphone, tablet and eye-wear) is still in its infancy concerning AR, and also facing some challenges, the Universities of Washington and the MIT see a better future on the experience horizont. Especially, the head up and head mounted displays have become mature, finds the study. Leading and growing in use are online apps, gaming apps and GPS apps. So far, campaigns like the following by MIRAT Paris work on the basis of QR coding…

But what kind of Augmented Reality technologies are rocking the transformation from the physical to the virtual world, or shall we say to the mobile world?

Some months ago, we only had browser technology like Layar and Wikitude. Today, companies like Tesco are experimenting with other capabilities in their retail shops. For a long time, we had to use QR codes or trigger points to initiate some activity with AR technology.

Layar’s latest innovation called “Vision” is another reason why QR codes are becoming uncool. Vision is a tool that lets advertisers and content owners integrate Augmented Reality ads in publications. As an example you may watch the Dutch magazine Linda how the technology works…

Some other technology innovations are also evolving that might catalyze the technology shift in the AR sphere. Here are three of them…

Aurasma
The Aurasma technology -unlike the GPS based technologies Layar (until the Vision version) and Wikitude that merely recognizes what someone has tagged as locations or places- is a new generation augmented reality browser. Aurasma recognises images through cameras in a way search engines recognise words. The browser then creates so-called 2D or 3D „Auras“ which show animated audio-video content. Just watch some examples of Aurasma campaigns.

blippAR
With blippAR the whole advertisment becomes the response tool. It is enough to simply point in the direction of the ad with the app. Still, the awareness challenge needs to be solved. And, the need for a specific browser to use the technology. See some examples of blippAR usage. At the moment you can even participate in the interactive blippAR campaign “escape the map” by Mercedes Benz.

Printechnologics
Printechnologics is based on Touchcode carrier technology. It contains a blind or transparent code which is embedded via invisible data storage development inside print products like carton, foil or simply paper. Printechnologics turns the AR identification around as you lay the paper on top of the tablet or smartphone, and not the other way round. And you don’t even need to modify your device, download a browser, use NFC (near field communication), or a camera for it to identify and initiate the online activity form the offline trigger. The last issue from the ICONIST carried a Printechnologics card and here you can see how it connect the two worlds….

Spot On!
In some months, the QR codes might be gone as an AR trigger, and thus leave the advertising world. However, all AR technologies have one weakness: You need to know that these technologies are embedded in any forms of campaigns. You need some trigger point, button, picture, image or QR code that people see. Thus, the main challenge for QR codes and Augmented Reality is to build awareness and understanding what it can do. Nobody is using a browser or a camera if there is no “visual” reason for virtual interactivity. I see TV using any of the forms as an extension for their TV shows in order to promote their digital content and advertising opportunities, just like the print industry did in the past. One thing is for sure: Augmented Reality will definitely become a new playground that connects the TV and online markets in the future…

What’s your view on Augmented Reality and QR codes? Let us know…

National Geographic makes Augmented Reality go live…

The opportunities to attract peoples’ attention are increasing with the use of Augmented reality. Appshaker recently launched a fantastic way for people to interact with the world of National Geographic Channel’s content from around the globe. The set-up obviously took some budget. With the use of augmented reality, people could virtually interact with different scenes in which they were able to get in touch with dolphins, leopards, the space landings, dinosaurs and more.

The result..
1000s of people interacted with the National Geographic Channel brand in the process as it toured Hungary, with 1000s more people sharing snapshots and video on Facebook as a result.

Live Augmented Reality for National Geographic Channel / UPC from Appshaker Ltd on Vimeo.

QR Codes: A trend already gone, or still on the rise…?

In the last weeks, I have spoken with many clients and interesting people in the industry, whether QR codes are still an emerging topic for marketers, or if the trend goes thanks to the latest innovation from Layar. The new Layar technology let’s the importance of QR codes in some way vanish…

So, the question is: Are the QR codes an over rated technology? Let’s bear in mind how many people know how to use QR code technology, and how often those who know really use the QR code reader? Now, the team from Lab42 comes up with as great infographic on the use of QR codes.

And guess what, 60% of the respondents say they are not familiar with QR codes in general. Most of the people using QR codes (46%) scan them for discounts. interestingly enough, for 42% of the people these codes serve as a ticket (for a concert (62%). And 67% see the QR codes in print magazines. So, my assumption that QR code technology could become the access point for the extension of print (Augmented Reality) seems to proof correct.

Check out the rest of the data yourself…

I am interested to get your view on the future of QR codes. Is this a remaining access hub for companies, brands and services, or will it end when Augmented Reality evolving, and finally detecting 3D objectives…? Let us know your thoughts…

News Update – Best of the Day

The vision of Big Brother is still one that separates the generations. Some are scared, some don’t even see that they are engaged to make things happen. But what happens if Augmented Reality becomes Augmented Humanity and merges the world of tomorrow with Visual Search? What a new form of sensual contextuality and the internet of things means to us, explains Tracy Falke.

Have you ever thought of the Initiative Generation? Not Gen X, Gen Y, Gen… whatever. Just simplified with the thought of change, and what creates leadership and how much initiative constitutes leadership? Ed Brenegar takes the initiative to inject our minds with a new generation that leaders just need to see and rate…

After nine years of absence the new Golf convertible is about to launch this year. The launch campaign is based on Augmented Reality and QR codes…

News Update – Best of the Day

About one year ago Twitter started introducing their new monetization model: Promoted Tweets. Twitter expects 150 Mio. USD revenue this year with the program. Now, one year later the first “success story” have been published, and Gordon Mc Millan writes a nice summary “Do Twitter ads work?“. Not really, it seems…

Is tablet computing changing the future of the whole computer industry? Who can say that today? However, since tablets are equipped with advanced sensors like high-resolution cameras, augmented reality has become an interesting opportunity to facilitate help for customers, i.e. in the form of manuals. Metaio explains in their latest video how this works…

Have you ever wondered why Microsoft bought Skype? This infographic by Jess3 might have an answer for you. The infographic highlights the dynamic of geosocial networking, and the relative size of social networks, like Skype, Twitter or Foursquare among others.

Is mobile the future extension of print (and TV)?

I have always quoted that there is a future for print. In trains, in planes and on quiet places where you will always be on your own… However print might need some partner media: mobiles… to becomes 3-D reality in combination with them.

The Commonwealth Bank used a Sydney computer graphics firm called Explore Engage and let them create a 3-D mobile extension. The print ad uses a smartphone’s camera to connect the print creative (launched in Melbourne’s mX commuter daily newspaper last week) with the 3-D reader software in the phone. The smartphone then opens a virtual town on the phone’s screen in which a virtual sales person introduces some of the Commonwealth Bank real estate properties.

The smartphone all of a sudden makes print (ads) attractive again. Augmented reality (AR) extends the opportunities of the static print value into a new engaging mobile world. Just think about the opportunities… Wallpapers could be scanned and then virtual promotions or commercials could appear on mobile screens on-the-go selling new products and services. Previews of movies could be taken from print ads instantly. The future of print seems to be mobile…

PS: Although it might be a bit challenging for some people, TV has also new opportunities to extend their offering. Just watch the latest KIA Optima advertising idea which also used AR technology to get people engaged in advertising…

dmexco 2010 – Flashback in Tweets & Quotes

The main message of the dmexco 2010 can be concluded as follows…

Marketers have to face the fast dynamics of a changing advertising industry. The new topics they will be tackling in the future are predictive behavioral targeting, multiscreen targeting, augmented reality as well as mobile device advertising and … of course Social Media.

Facing the social web challenge, this means marketers have to look for conversation with their clients, whilst still being authentic, honest, human, friendly, open, conversational, responsive. Business relevant topics are not meant to cross their minds such as contact management and generation, quantitative ROI measurement or sales-driven aspects – and I am not even talking of lead nurturing. At least from a social media user-perspective…

Respect to all marketeers who can make this challenge happen in the future!

My flashback…?
Doing the co-moderation of the conference program was a very exhiting and interesting job. It gave me the opportunity to talk to great marketers (Sidney Mock, Spil Games and Manish Mehta, Dell Inc.), real thought-leaders of the Internet industry (Russell Buckley, AdMob Inc. and Tom Bedecarrè, AKQA) and just fabulous web personalities (Harry Huj, Pepsico Investment and Dean Donaldson, Mediamind).

As there was not much time to look around the halls and the booths, I would like to summarize the event with the 10 tweets and quotes that represent the value, the mood and the atmosphere of dmexco from my perspective.

Future
1. dmexco 2010: The vision of the leaders http://bit.ly/bRyrlQ via @MkDirecto

Augmented Reality
2. Never heard of “augmented reality”? Check out the Museum of London case study http://bit.ly/aucZ4Y via Kaizenadv

iPad
3. Study #iPad Effects: “80 per cent use the iPad predominantly at home” #dmexco #research (translated) via tomorrowfocus

Gaming
4. Sidney Mock, Spil Games, counts 650 million online gamers worldwide via dmexco (More gamers than Facebook users…).

China
5. Harry Hui (Pepsico): “Los consumidores chinos se mueven a otro ritmo”. http://bit.ly/czFA8x via lpittol85

Social Media
6. Great interview with @ManishatDell (my boss) about the value of social media for #dell from the dmexco conf. http://bit.ly/9pjxaF via DennisMSmith

Facebook
7. Joanna Shields: “Marketing develops from a one night stand towards constant connection and ongoing conversations.” #dmexco #Facebook via dmexco

Mobility
8. Dean Donaldson shows the relativity of the mobile progress, reading out a SMS he received during the Mobile Debate. It tells him how expensive roaming is and explains how ISPs limit mobile opportunities like in the AOL age some years ago.

Future Media
9. The future of the media is mobile. Shame *none* of the world’s design/PR agencies have realised: http://cot.ag/dolCIO via Adam Westbrook

Summary
10. Tom Bedecarré, #AKQA, is excited about #dmexco: “What a high energy event with so many people!” via dmexco

Spot On!
After sharing my view, I would appreciate to get your ideas and thoughts. What did you think of dmexco 2010? How did you like the conference program or the debate hall concept? What was positive and negative? Did any of you use the blogger lounge? If so, what did you like or miss? Looking forward to your feedback…

PS: Next dmexco?: Cologne, September, 21. and 22, 2011 !

Foto Credits: Horizont

Augmented Reality – the future of customer service?

The customer service world around us is changing with the social web, new technologies, and especially mobile apps. The question is how much this is effecting our perspective of the real offline world around us. A new technology is evolving that is beginning to connect the offline and the virtual world from a customer perspective as it will offer some new form of customer service. The term is Augmented Reality (AR).

It is a technology that brings your visual experience and information from the web or networks together, and by doing this enriches daily situations with relevant data from the web – and in more and more cases the information provided will come from the user.

The competition for users and companies has already begun. We have augmented reality browsers like Layar, explaining us instantly which famous buildings are surrounding us. Or, another AR browser named Wikitude that starts to become one of the most-wanted AR browser apps (not only for iPhone users) and gets nominated for one award after another. With wikitude.me shops and service providers of all sorts can already use this cool service to make themselves visible in the offline world by geo-tagging their office or location with simple online entries. If somebody is new in a city, this person can find a laundry or the next wine shop much easier in the future – just by using an AR browser app.

There are products like T-shirts projecting interactive games with AR. Digital cosmetic mirrors where women in cosmetic shops can see in real-time what a new eye-liner or make-up is looking good at them without testing it in reality. Adidas will launch a series of shoes, each printed with an AR code on the tongue which give you access to an interactive game that changes on a montly basis. Is this the customer service of the future?

Now, just imagine what this technology could do for customer service in the future. Wouldn’t it be a positive effect when we get immediate feedback on health information about the food and drinks we consume?

The following short film, called Augmented (Hyper)Reality, shows us a world some time ahead, where augmented reality is part of our daily offline life. We see what the actor sees, from his own perspective, and get to know the oppotunities that AR might offer to our daily life. OK, if we agree to getting networked completely…

The interesting acknowledgement for companies will be the advertising part of the film – although in some way it might be shocking…

Spot On!
The complete overkill seems to be the massive sea of logos flooding our sight in the beginning. Although the above examples might seem an exaggerated view of a futuristic branding scenario, it gives some idea on how the world might change customer care in the future. And you never know if this will be really happening, or not. Today, this all might sound strange to us but just think about how common the use of artifical medical help is for us, or how often we use the navigation system in cars today.

And then, think about the options when combining location based advertising with augmented reality. This opens a complete new world of customer care…

Don’t you think?

News Update – Best of the Day

daily1The world of advertising is changing and becoming more engaging…

The latest FIAT 500 campaign shows what augmented reality and advertising can create for a campaign in Spain… THX to DigiMaverick.

Placing ads on mobile phone applications seems to become one of the rising stars these days – and is done in a perfect way. Adage shows the latest development from their Apps for Brand conference – Yahoo’s Adam Taggart talks about the new Subway and Toyota ads running in the company’s new Fantasy Football app for the iPhone.

Can you imagine you happen to stand in a closet and don’t know why? Canal+ created one of the funniest ads I have ever watched…