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While cool new features like better video recording, more storage space, faster processing and better gaming might be some of the reasons that you cannot avoid buying an iPhone 3GS this summer, consider this.
Imagine a browser in which you view the real world through a camera lens on your iPhone, while a heads-up display picks out interesting points and features amid the cityscape. This type of technology 20 years ago sounded like something out of "Back to The Future" but today we call it Augmented Reality.
Debuting later this month for Android phones, and planned later this year for the iPhone 3GS ,"The Magnetometer" could be the beginning of something big. Imagine the ability to point your phone at the stars to find out what constellation you're looking at, or telling what building youâ€™re looking at and its history by pointing your iPhone at it. Imagine what a tour of New York or Paris would be like, all with your cell phone as your tour guide. Sounds more like science fiction but this is only the beginning on what we can expect from Augmented Reality.
Wikipedia defines Augmented Reality as a field of computer research that deals with the combination of real world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time. The only problem is that this is no longer a field based on only research but now is an actual fact and one of the newest innovations in the electronics industry. It superimposes graphics, audio and other sense enhancements from computer screens onto real environments. It superimposes graphics for every perspective and it adjusts to every movement of the user's head, neck and eyes. Although this is not a new science, the true development of these capabilities is still underway and it is forecasted that it won't be till the end of the decade before a true augmented reality system really hits the market. But the buzz has already started and it's picking up steam.
So now you're obviously wondering how can Augmented Reality help improve my business? Well the answer to that lies in what you want Augmented Reality to do for you. Augmented Reality allows you to see, in real time, data about your surroundings, without actually having to look anything up, or to know anything about it. It's just there, like another dimension, ready to wow and amaze your customers at any moment of your choosing. Take a look at what some companies are doing now to take advantage of this new technology.
A Dutch company, SPRXmobile, just last week, introduced the first ever Augmented Reality browser platform for the smartphone. The software uses basic features already found on the smart phone, like the compass and GPS system, and conveniently directs you to the nearest ATM, or shoe store or five-star restaurant. Now just think about what this technology can do for your company in the way of marketing technology.
Take for example what the folks at LEGO are doing to implement this technology into their overall marketing strategy. LEGO created a special packaging that, when held in front of special in-store kiosks, shows the shopper what the fully assembled toy will look like. Or take a look at what the people at Total Immersions are doing using Augmented Reality to promote movies using this new technology. http://www.t-immersion.com/
Last month, the FMCG giant Unilever, kicked off a trial system that let consumers redeem certain coupons by scanning their cell phones. This is a mobile marketer's wildest dream and this is only the beginning. Priority Mail has come up with a virtual program where you can virtually package the item you're looking to ship, so that you know it will be the right size and shape you need. This program takes care of the whole process for you while you're in complete control.
To think of all the applications that you can use Augmented Reality for are limitless. Since this is a new and developing technology we have only began to scratch the surface of what this technology can do for the world around us and your business. Think about being able to pass out flyers that can project a 3-D story almost like a high-tech commercial. Think about being able to lay a foundation for a building with Augmented technology so that all the builders have to do is build over the Augmented Reality like a virtual blueprint resulting in a better and more precise structure. Augmented Reality is being used in the baseball card industry, auto industry for helping to build more precise cars and even in the medical profession.
However, with the recent advancements of mobile phone technology, the cell phone seems to be the biggest force driving this push to bring Augmented technology to the mainstream public. Taking into account the spiking popularity of mobile phones coupled with increasing demand and better technology, the rise of Augmented Reality technology is only at the limit of the developer's imagination.
To think of a world fully intermingled with Augmented Reality is truly something that we could only dream of 30 years ago. What will be the future of this new technology, what are its limitations? These are things that we can only speculate right now, but what we do know is that Augmented Reality is here and it's at our fingertips.
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