7. Augmented reality/digital magic (2009 Trends)

20 Feb
Lego's Augmented Reality Point of Sale un its 

Lego's Augmented Reality Point of Sale units

Augmented Reality – the manifesting of virtual 3d objects into the real world via cameras or projectors – is probably one of the biggest buzzwords among digital creatives at the moment with the examples of Boffswana and GE’s Smart Grid site definitely inspiring the imagination and offering up a new tool with which to play.

However, if Augmented Reality is going to be more than “the next PaperVision” and liberally applied in inappropriate places then it is worth considering as one element in an overall movement – the move away from screens.


Big Shadow campaign in Tokyo

As Russell Davies as pointed out – screens are boring. People are used to screens and digital creative is definitely not “new media” anymore. It has to compete with the production values and impact of film and PS3 graphics. Creating a great website these days is the norm, it is the raised bar we need to all sail over. But when we land on the other side we can often face audience indifference. It is still a site on a screen – be it desktop or mobile – it is still in an expected context.

Digital experiential, or real world digital, or digital installations, or whatever you want to call it, is a great leap forward in our approach to brand experiences. Whether it involves playing Snake on the side of a building, a virtual skateboarder in the streets or giant shadows in Tokyo, interactive experiences in a shared, real world context offer the potential for digital creative to equal and surpass the “watercooler effect” and shared experience of TV.

  • Changing from Graphical User Interface to Tangible User Interface transformed gaming and opened up a new, inclusive audience. New ways of interacting means new people interacting. Even 3D gaming now offers a more solid and imersive experience.
  • We can break out from behind the screens to create shared experiences in unexpected places. It has the watercooler effect that mass TV once had.
  • Live experiences have immediacy and a sense of unrestricted/unfiltered connection and control, they don’t feel as fake or manipulated as traditional marketing. Even in the case of the Saturn installation at Wired NextFest in 2006, a product demo – what would normally be a carbooth at a trade show – becomes an immediate and imaginative experience.
  • As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – we need to bring back the wonder of the early days (70/80s) where things felt new, not old and jaded.
  • McLeod Mirror by Barbarian Group

    McLeod Mirror by Barbarian Group

    Digital experiential work embodies what is best about interactive creative – its ability to bridge the gap between engagement, entertainment, demonstration and learning, its need to create new experiences and ways of doing things, its ability to draw together skillsets from art and product design to create objects of value and beauty that can be fun like the McLeod mirror.

  • We need to offer a shared, perception changing experience; offer an experience that people can participate in, use and break out into the real world.

Update – Seminar and workshop on Augmented Reality, RFID and Mobile

Back to…2009 Interactive Trends

5 Responses to “7. Augmented reality/digital magic (2009 Trends)”

  1. Namita February 26, 2009 at 5:22 am #

    i need a full seminar report on augmented reality which means ,it combines real and virtual objects .it suppliments thr real world objects with virtual objects which appear to coexist with real objects

    • davidjcarr February 26, 2009 at 10:46 am #

      Thanks Namita, I need to finish the post (hopefully today) and add in the examples and discussion notes. We’re currently developing a series of traditional augmented reality experiences – in the Boffswana/Lego vein – for a couple of our clients and hopefully we can share those soon.


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    […] Next…7. Augmented Reality/Digital Magic […]

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