WHY USE AR?: THE TOP 3 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AUGMENTED REALITY
August 20, 2015 — Let's be honest, Augmented Reality still hasn’t earned the respect it undoubtedly deserves. A lot of this is simply down to the fact that it hasn't hit the mainstream yet but a little is also due to lack of understanding and a lack of education by providers like us to help dispel some myths.
One of the reasons is the lack of information on what Augmented Reality actually is and what an incredibly powerful tool it can be if used in the right way. Another – frankly, quite valid – reason is the massive presence of very poor quality AR content on the market.
The solution to the first problem is very simple but will take time and resource: we need to make people aware of what AR is and what an unbelievable level of engagement it is capable of creating as a unique education, entertainment and advertising platform. The second issue (quality content) is a lot more critical and the solution will take much longer to achieve fruition.
We firmly believe that the exceptionally high quality content we create is the main key to the distinctiveness and success of our Augmented Reality products. We have already shared some thoughts on quality 3D content, so let’s go back to the first topic and try to destroy some myths around augmented reality.
#1 - Augmented Reality is too FUTURISTIC
How many people actually know what Augmented Reality is and for how long this technology has existed? Simply put, it is overlaying digital content on a real world camera view. Although AR has been experiencing rapid growth and increasing popularity over the past few years, the term was actually first used 25 years ago by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell in reference to heads up displays for training.
Although many people might not be aware of it, AR is nowadays all around us, and we don’t even need to be technically-oriented to experience its presence. Let’s just think of a sport event, e.g. swimming championship live broadcast. We have all seen those magical banners with the winners’ names, “floating” on the water surface. Well, that is not magic, it is one of the simplest forms of AR. There is an unlimited amount of special forms and areas AR can be used in, creating incredible audience engagement. So why not embrace AR and profit from it?
#2 - Augmented Reality is too EXPENSIVE
In fact, AR can be very cost effective compared to other media solutions. However, everyone needs to be aware that often in this industry low price implies low(er) quality, especially when it comes to custom-made content. An effective way to reduce production costs is to compromise the quality of the content, and that is something no-one developing Augmented Reality products should be doing at such an early stage.
The million dollar question is: „I am willing to pay for quality, but is there a way to have a fair return on this?” Well, the answer is yes and the return will not only be fair, but far higher than what you would expect. You will realise that the level of crowd engagement (definitely not possible to reach using traditional forms of advertising or educational installation) is only a fraction of the great value these systems represent. Just think of the SnapShare module featured by our augmented reality systems, taking instant snaphots of users and printing them on the spot or sharing them to social media. You do the math, with unlimited size of audience and time frame. Impressive ROI, isn’t it?
#3 - Augmented Reality is too FAKE
Yes, Augmented Reality inevitably implies digital content, which can – and admittedly, sometimes does – lead to disappointing results, but why not approach it from a different angle? Try from our point of view and think of an unbelievable experience born from the perfectly happy marriage of Real World and cinematic 3D Content. And here we go again, apparently unable to make any reasonable statements without mentioning „quality”. Well, the reason is very simple: it is ALL about quality.
Think of yourself surrounded by amazing life-size dinosaurs or an African watering hole and some beautifully detailed wild animals you would otherwise never have the chance to get up close and personal with. We’re making it possible for anyone and we truly love and enjoy doing it. We are extremely proud of our very own, photo-realistic 3D animations appearing in some of our best AR creations available for licensing. The range of characters we’re bringing to life in different custom-made experiences is only limited by our clients’ imagination – and believe it or not, that is sometimes a very brave thing to say. The challenge always remains the same: making the experience so real that the border between digital content and real world is hardly noticeable.