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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Guess what? Even MORE Augmented Reality!

Three posts in a row dedicated to my newest favorite technology. This example comes from those crazy peoples in L.A., Zugara. For those who don’t know Zugara, they’re an awesome agency. I’ve worked with them in the past on IVR games and think the world of their team out there.

What they’ve done in the video above is apply augmented reality to the shopping experience. Basically allowing you to virtually “try on” clothes before you buy them. I can see a mainstream real-world application of this so kudos to them for being first to the fence.

Transformers & Augmented Reality

If you have a moment and have never experienced augmented reality before, you may want to check out the new weareautobots.com Transformers promotional movie website. Through AR, you print a piece of paper with a symbol on it (in the above case, it looks like a “T”). That symbol triggers an event which launches a 3D model of Bumble Bee. The model can be seen from multiple perspectives (think hologram) and is complete with sound as well.

Give it a shot if you’ve never done this before. All you need is a webcam and the downloadable plugin.

I’m a huge fan of AR and think the applications are endless.

Using Augmented Reality To Bring Baseball Cards To Life

Augmented reality has been a topic of discussion within the social circles of new media marketers for quite some time when it comes to jumpstarting the print media industry again. There have been a few instances where AR has made its way to mainstream – the most prominent one being a Mini Cooper print ad but outside of Mini, not much has turned heads.

Topps however has a chance to seriously evolve their product line with the introduction of AR baseball cards. While e-ink may be utopia for collectors of cards with real time stats updated on the card itself, AR may be the best model to help bridge the static world of print to the dynamic world of digital.

(nytimes.com) Beginning Monday, collectors who hold a special Topps 3D Live baseball card in front of a webcam will see a three-dimensional avatar of the player on the computer screen. Rotate the card, and the figure rotates in full perspective. It’s called “augmented reality,” a combination of a real image with a virtual one.

“This is the ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ version of a baseball card that will get kids to buy more. We see this baseball season as a redefining moment for us,” said Steve Grimes, chief digital officer at Topps.

link: nytimes

Card collecting is as much part of our national pastime as the game itself but is nostalgia enough to grab the attention of kids who grow up in a club penguin/pokemon analog/digital world. With PC penetration at 956 million homes, this is a great step forward for sports, technology, and fans as well.

More Augmented Reality

Per my Mini post the other day, Fanta will be launching a new campaign using augmented reality through a virtual tennis game, in which two phones connect via bluetooth, and use a “court” printed from http://www.fanta.eu/.

Players can then use their mobile devices as tennis racquets to hit a virtual ball whose movement is determined by the angle and position of the phone.

source: adverblog

Mini Cooper’s Use of Augmented Reality

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

While I was at a previous agency, I dove into the feasibility of using augmented reality in car showrooms. Mini has taken this concept to advertising via a recent campaign leveraging the technology.

The Future of Ads has a great synopsis on how they experienced the technology. The positives coming out of it definitely outweighed the negatives. Give it a read and you can try it out yourself which I plan on doing and following up on this post later this week.