Augmented Reality Check: What really counts as added value?

In an effort to add value to their products and services, many companies have started to embrace augmented reality (AR). The technology is expected to generate $350 million dollars for businesses by 2014. However, not every application of the technology lives up to this promise. Here, we'll examine what it takes to actually add value to a product using AR, and what is just a gimmick.

Our first example is a cookie with an AR code baked in. The cookie is not a new product, but is a good example of what most companies are doing with the technology.

Demo of Augmented Reality Cookies from Tellart on Vimeo.

So what's the added value? It does very little to actually entice me, and feels like a waste of time. Though a creative use of 3D technology, it unfortunately still falls flat.

Our other example was developed by AKQA for the US Postal Service to help people see which box will fit their shipping needs.

This application is not flashy. However, it is a memorable and innovative use of AR technology. It provides users with an engaging experience that is practical and useful, generating repeat visits, and most importantly, repeat business.

In order for companies to succeed using AR, or any other technology to add value to their products, the use of the technology must be truly innovative. It must be practical to the product, and engaging to the consumer. If not, the company risks being eaten up by the competition.

Written by Ken Hammond on December 8, 2010


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Ken says:

Zac, thanks for that awesome example. Can't wait until its available in more languages.

Zac says:

Word Lens is an incredible example of AR value.

Written by
Ken Hammond