A Dose of Reality

Augmented Advertising Gets Real

CCS_predicts_lThere’s no escaping Ikea’s brightly coloured catalogues — they have a way of finding you. Their hundreds of pages of practically perfect kitchens, immaculately folded towels and super-orderly closets have made it the international standard for Scandinavian home inspiration. However, even this ubiquitous paper product is now shifting to the world of augmented reality (AR).

Yes: Ikea’s catalogue now comes in augmented reality flavour. Download the app and you can float potential furniture candidates around your room. You can try before you buy, choosing the right colour for your new Skogaby sofa by layering a digital copy of the object in your living room. A tablet is a window onto a virtual world of interior design.

CCS Insight has followed developments in the technologies and implementations of augmented reality over the past five years, predicting that, when the enablers are in place, AR would have a significant effect on user experiences starting with advertising and marketing. We believe that augmented reality is now reaching mainstream and will change the way companies engage with their customers. Flat campaigns are coming to life.

We believe that recent investments by Google and Facebook are indications that augmented reality and its virtual reality cousin are evolving into a type of user interface that can be used for entertainment, education and salesmanship. Device processing power, resolution, sensors and connectivity are reaching the levels needed to push the experience toward the astounding.

Augmented reality firm Magic Leap, a company which Google recently invested heavily in, believes that AR could be the next big computing industry shift. Rony Abovitz, the company’s CEO and founder, said in a press release that Magic Leap’s AR technology would “revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play”. It’s an ambitious goal and, while not much is known about Magic Leap’s technology, we believe that the company that gets it right will be well positioned for potential AR business cases.

In 2010, at CCS Insight’s Predictions for 2011 and Beyond event (see CCS Insight Predictions for 2011 and Beyond), we stated our expectation that the use cases and standards for augmented reality would emerge within three years, driving AR to mainstream usage. We successfully predicted the wide industry interest in developing the technologies with advertising as an initial successful implementation. Before it’s used in car windshields for navigation (an application that’s on its way), AR is being utilised to sell fizzy drinks at bus stops and Legos at toy shops. This is happening now.

CCS Insight believes that 2015 will be a breakthrough year for augmented reality. Devices such as Google’s Glass have excited the market but remained a niche in the past year, but the technology is being driven toward everyday use, with marketers among the leaders. AR is providing advertisers an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. It’s time to get real.


For information about our upcoming Predictions event, to be held on 19 November 2014, please click here.