LIVE FROM AR & VR WORLD, LONDON: Content creators and brands “have to respect the medium” in order to secure success in the augmented reality (AR) market, the head of specialist company Blippar believes.
“AR is not an extension of digital. If you want to conquer this medium, you have to understand this medium from a very authentic point of view,” CEO Ambarish Mitra (pictured) told delegates, adding: “Don’t take your mobile strategy, and just copy and paste.”
The executive noted the most well-known examples of AR so far have been “a bit gimmicky, with a huge amount of face filters, which companies like Snapchat brought to prominence, and also incredible games like Pokemon Go, which also brought huge PR to the industry, which of course we are very grateful for.”
“But the promise of AR is much bigger,” he continued.
Among the examples Mitra cited was retailer Ikea, which is using AR to enable customers to visualise furniture in their homes. “Do not think of this as a gimmick and marketing: it’s really beginning to work for the company, where it’s increasing retention and improving customer relations.”
The executive called for “a lot more, simpler tools”, to drive the creation of AR content, “almost like the WordPress of augmented reality”. While this is an area where Blippar plays, he noted: “We’re not the only company doing this, it’s not product placement, but there is a movement that is taking place in the wider world.”
“If the internet could only be built by developers, the internet wouldn’t exist as it does,” he noted.
With AR currently being shaded in the hype stakes by technologies including artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Mitra said the market is “having a reality check”.
“Since Apple and Adobe and Google and Facebook are creating some sort of AR offering, some sort of AR medium on their platform or devices, it’s showing signs of maturity, it’s showing the capabilities and possibilities a lot more.”
“The time for AR is great now, because computers are able to see and understand,” he said.