Augmented reality (AR) sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Well, of course developing a groundbreaking form of user interaction is complicated, but it's simple to use.
Mashable defines AR as "a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data."
In other words, aim your smartphone or tablet at something in your physical presence and see it "brought to life" with virtual images. How ironic.
But as the line between virtual-reality and reality-reality continue to blur in our everyday lives, AR technology is showing up everywhere from the grocery store and the shopping mall to in magazines and on billboards. There's practically nowhere around you where AR can't be implemented, making you, as a consumer, all the more reachable for an advertiser.
Check out a few AR campaigns that caught our attention below, and keep your eyes peeled for more superimposition coming your way.
REI opened it's first store in New York City in 2011. "Activate the experience on any of the various ads, when you do, you’ll open a window to the place you’d rather be. The app challenges you to explore the scene and while doing so, find the special objects embedded in the scenery for your chance to win some great prizes."
In Billabong's "Life’s better in board shorts" ads, consumers gain access to videos of surfers and are linked to a dedicated microsite.
Heinz is driving its mobile presence as the first sauce brand to use an AR app for smart phones, that magically turns the product's label into a recipe book.
To celebrate Fashion's Night Out, Net-a-Porter created a pop-up store that visitors could shop and win prizes from using a specially created AR app.