Earlier this year, when Google announced Project Glass, it seemed to be an idea right out of science fiction. But part of the technology that Project Glass incorporates, Augmented Reality (AR), is a very real market with a big future in mobile commerce. Marketers are already using this technology to engage customers.
Mind Commerce Publishing recently noted that the entire AR market will be worth over $3 billion in 2015. At least $2.2 billion of that market will be linked to mobile commerce, especially for app developers who create code for marketers. But analysts are still debating whether the future of this market will be wearable or handheld. In Google’s world vision, consumers will wear AR-enabled glasses. These glasses are currently under design and Beta testers are wearing the early models and recording their daily activities and sending select data to friends and family members. It’s too soon to tell whether the glasses, which don’t interfere traditional eyewear, will be another iteration of hands-free mobile computing. Google claims that this product will be about fitting into places where mobile phones and tablets aren’t convenient. The company also says no advertising will be integrated into the product, though that seems to be the claim every tech company makes with the new products that are rolling out.
In the mobile device market, industry watchers believe that AR will become the must-have for ad campaigns in much the same way that QR codes captured marketers’ imagination last year. The difference with AR though, is that it allows marketers to connect with consumers in a visually engaging way on the small screen instead of “littering..with anonymous hyperlinks.” Part of this development stems from advancements in camera technology and the inclusion of 3D on the small screen.
Experts warn that these campaigns can make a big impact on the target audiences but the AR components that marketers use should still be central to the message they want to communicate and not just be placed on the screen because the technology is the latest thing.[Sources: From Mobile to Google Glasses. Betanews.com. 31 Jul. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012; Project Glass, Google.com. Jun. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012; Ha, Peter. Project glass is the Future of Google. Techcrunch.com. 27 Jun. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012; Kats, Rimma. Augmented reality is the new QR code. MobileMarketer.com. 14 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012]