BMW’s Z4 Goes Augmented Reality, But Does It Matter?

Has augmented reality jumped the virtual shark? That’s a hard question to answer. I would like to think that AR hasn’t even come close to scratching the surface yet, and what we’re currently experiencing through these desktop based engagements are the beginning of something more substantial.

BMW’s Z4 recently embraced AR with the application mirroring the now famous paint via wheels advertisements that the Z4 is renowned for. Will it help them sell Z4’s? I’m not certain, but it did inspire me to write about it.

This isn’t to dismiss augmented reality, especially for utility purposes. For instance, mobile augmented reality has incredible potential. Companies such as Layar have developed an Android (and sometimes iPhone compatible) application to help display real time information via AR. Point your camera phone and survey your surroundings to collect tidbits of tagged information.

While I’m skeptical as to our digital culture’s tolerance for similar examples of desktop based Augmented Reality, I’ll still support it as long as it’s engaging, informative, and gives me a reason to share and discuss with friends.

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