Augmented Reality and Advertising

Augmented reality (and especially considering the QR codes that often trigger an augmented experience) has been picked up by the marketing and advertising industry in full force to bring products to life for consumers. This momentum has propelled much of the technology forward, and the advertising industry comes up time and again as a major influencer in the development of the technology:

“Will the momentum created by advertising in AR be one of the biggest factors to propel this technology forward? Will the outcomes of this trajectory be necessarily as negative as some believe? Does it really matter if augmented reality is being used mainly for advertising? After all, television and radio were developed along with advertising, and advertising has also profoundly shaped the development of the internet.” – Sarah Welsh, “Augmented Reality: Just Another Marketing Tool?

In a promo for the HoloLens, a woman wearing the headset customizes a Volvo car before buying it, building it up from the nuts and bolts with gestures as simple as pressing her thumb and forefinger together. It isn’t quite the tech we see Robert Downey Jr. playing with in Iron Man’s workshop, but it’s pretty close. The problem is that companies working on AR are in the tough position of selling an underdeveloped product in order to garner public interest and private investment because both are essential to further development of that product. Sure, it’s possible now to use AR technology in a way that could make one’s computer-based work look like the set of CSI, but in reality, as The Verge’s Nick Statt points out, ‘the technology is still years away from being common in the workplace, let alone a consumer’s living room.’ Let alone a humanities-based research group.” -Sarah Riddick, “Augmented Reality Has Arrived and It’s Ready to Be Analyzed! Well, Almost.”