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AR (augmented reality) gets a tough rap in digital marketing circles. To date, the technology is still most visible powering children’s games and providing 3D thrills that use your tablet or smartphone to layer digital information or graphics over real-world objects.
With wearable tech exploding off the tradeshow floor at CES, and Google Glass finally infiltrating mainstream press, it’s time to take a serious look at augmented reality in modern marketing and the enterprise.
Here are three reasons why I’m betting on seeing more use of AR from savvy brands and agencies in the year(s) to come.
Last year, the Econsultancy blog featured several articles about Google Glass, as did most digital and business blogs, cognisant of the technology's hold on the public's imagination.
This year, Glass still has us rapt. CES unveiled some third parties' intentions for Glass and a wide variety of wearables were debuted, showing the trend is not abating. Elsewhere, most national news outlets' covered the failed citation against a Californian woman caught driving whilst wearing Glass (there was no evidence the device was switched on).
As the internet has become widely used globally and consumers are now very comfortable using the web for a variety of functions, the idea of connected devices has started to feel less alien, too. The internet of things, particularly the connected home also made more noise at CES this year.
So I thought it was time for a 'where are we at?' style post, to look at the latest iterations of third party Google Glass apps, new developments from Google itself and even perhaps to predict when we'll actually see people using Glass, outside of Silicon Valley.
Let me tell you, it's more than just the excellent doge.
Last year I started writing for the Econsultancy blog and it’s allowed me to go to a lot of cool conferences and learn about some new things, from Google Glass to big automated email and CRM systems.
Here are some of the things that stuck in my mind from last year and perhaps a few things you might not know about digital and the interweb.
For regular followers of our interweb anti-format post (crazy stuff from across the web), don’t worry, it will return next week.
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we saw last week.
Statistics include real-time bidding, email marketing, paid search, responsive design, integrated marketing and augmented reality.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Since 2009, the British Museum has educated youngsters in Bloomsbury via its Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC). It’s free, and is the most extensive on-site digital learning programme of any UK museum.
I went along to the British Museum last week to see the launch of a new image recognition and augmented reality (AR) app, A Gift for Athena, helping kids to engage with the museum’s Parthenon gallery.
The app, built by Gamar, is simple in premise and use, but also a lot of fun, showing that augmented reality can succeed when applied in the right manner.
In this post I’ll discuss why the app works, and what’s needed to succeed with AR.
Digital is becoming ever more important for the comic industry.
Although the industry is guarded when it comes to revealing figures, Comixology (which release digital comics from the major publishers and many independents) has cited reaching 50m downloads in January 2012 and doubling that figure to 100m only 10 months later in October.
Physical comic book sales have been pushing against the tide of declining sales in other print media for some time now, with 2012 showing a 15% increase in sales year on year, and 2013 showing a similar trend.
It's clear the success of digital comics is increasing rapidly and concurrently with print, and it’s Marvel, who in the last few years has shown incredible skill in rebuilding its own brand, which is offering a lot more in terms of technology and service in its range of apps for mobiles and tablets.
When I was a kid, riding trolleys down supermarket aisles and giving my twin brother beats in public were the symptoms of my boredom at the local Tesco or Asda.
That was before ‘retail-tainment’ involved the smartphone or tablet.
The supermarket is the perfect crucible for 'retail-tainment'. Outside of big cities, supermarkets are captive markets, often entailing a long visit with the family, and competing with rival stores on a weekly basis.
Winning the battle to keep kids obedient or event interested in store would be a boon for any supermarket chain.
At the moment, there are supermarkets such as Asda that are synonymous with family, but none that have mastered retailtainment. More apps and in-store challenges with rewards will provide an effective antidote to the rogue use of toys by children that then abandon them in the bakery aisle.
Asda is using Zappar to offer kids the chance to be greeted by Sir Spook in 400 of its stores. Combined with some physical events, pumpkin carving and the like, they're aiming to be the family supermarket at Halloween.
With the advent of Ikea introducing an augmented reality (AR) app to enhance its 2014 catalogue, we are starting to see a gradual shift in how retailers can use the power of digital to improve the customer experience.
It seems as if augmented reality is no longer just for enhancing advertising campaigns, there are now many more practical applications of the technology.
Here we’ll look at the Ikea AR app, and then a general round-up of other companies making great strides in the realm of augmented reality.
Last week I wrote an article that asked whether Argos is doing enough to integrate digital technologies into its print catalogue.
The retailer has a number of QR codes dotted throughout the magazine as well as ads for its click-and-collect service, but I felt that it could do more to embed extra content within its pages.
As it turns out, Argos has actually been trialling an interactive catalogue in the north east of England that uses Blippar’s augmented reality technology.
Argos was nice enough to send me a copy of its special edition, so here’s a look at how the technology works...
While strolling around Farringdon the other day I was handed a copy of the new Argos catalogue by a cheery store employee.
Print has long been the backbone of Argos’ business and no doubt still is, yet as times change digital will become a more important revenue stream.
So, here’s a quick look at how Argos is adapting to the changing times...
We all loved The Beano, or Bunty, or The Bash Street Kids, or Girl’s Own, or Jackie, or Diana. We all loved them.
Now the annual has evolved, with Zappar and Pedigree books working together. Sonic the Hedgehog, Angry Birds, and others (admittedly not Desperate Dan) will have 20% of their pages embedded with content that can be seen through the Zappar app.
The content will include extended character profiles, extra stories and activities such as colouring, mazes, puzzles and a ‘make your own poster’ feature.
This is Sartre.
This is me scratching an itch.
Although there are plenty of statistics that suggest people have scanned QR codes out and about, used Blippar watching television and Aurasma whilst reading their sportsday match programmes, I’m a bit of a sceptic.
Virgin’s provision of free WiFi on the London Underground, the service notably being free to use on Vodafone and EE, has led many to ponder how this will impact on marketing and advertising in the subterranean rat race.
Some have claimed augmented reality (AR) will start to take off as the technology matures along with marketers, and there’s a signal to enable web content for QR codes/ RFID and the like.
However, unless scanning is heavily incentivised, I’m of the opinion there are at least five reasons why this isn’t going to be heavily adopted, and you can agree or disagree in our comments section below.