Why the phrase ‘augmented reality’ should be retired

I’m going to nail my colours to the mast. I think augmented reality (AR) technology is already big and can be massive.

The only thing is, I don’t think its best use is in augmenting reality, per se.

Where AR apps have a big future is the creation of a ‘physical world domain’. That’s a phrase used by Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar. It essentially means using objects as the physical keys to information or rewards online.

Blippar signed up with Pepsi and Coca Cola recently and this feels like a game changer. With QR codes failing to be implemented properly in many cases (with bad placement, instructions, URLs, or landing pages), the company could be well-placed to own the discovery and reward space.

FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) feels like a proving ground for this technology (and all reports of the number of scans are good, so far), with immense numbers of units providing marketing real estate to rival any other ‘channel’.

So why might it be so powerful as a tag or key, but not as augmenter?

Argos adds digital layer to its print catalogue with AR

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…