Augmented Reality in communication
2D vs. 3D
Our world takes place in 3D – but why then our communication almost exclusively in 2D? Here, humans have difficulty imagining a 2D image in three-dimensional form – that is real. When 3D content is created, it is viewed on a 2D screen. Why shouldn’t they be seen as they are? In professional communication, doesn’t it make more sense to give the target groups the optimal experience? Especially if it can be done easily?
This is where Augmented Reality comes into play. Because the basis of Augmented Reality is content that is displayed in 3D. But just being able to display things in 3D is only half the battle.
The potential for brand communication
The unique strength of Augmented Reality (AR) lies on the one hand in the possibility to make technical details and products better understandable and on the other hand in creative storytelling. Thus, AR offers a potential for brand communication that is still not used to the extent that it would make sense for many companies. Because by making complex things easier to understand, sales are also strengthened in the long term.
AR solutions allow customers to try out products – what does the shoe look like on my foot, does the sofa fit in my living room? Immersion is the keyword here and means immersion in the product or brand world, as a connection between real and digital components. Conveniently, from home or wherever the customer happens to be.
A second focus of AR, in addition to the sales-promoting brand experience, is the improvement of cooperation in order to become more productive. Service employees receive information about a technical component that needs to be repaired – directly in their field of vision, on site, at the customer’s location. Or the employees in the warehouse are shown on which shelf the spare part they are looking for can be found. Or the technical sales department explains the advantages of the product, practically as if they could touch it.
IoT and Augmented Reality
A third application is still in its infancy: Augmented Reality as a user interface for the Internet of Things (IoT). Through the Internet of Things, technology is becoming more and more connected and intelligent. But how will we interact with these smart devices? We don’t want extra buttons and complex procedures. We enjoy the simplicity of great design – and Augmented Reality will be the user interface for the Internet of Things. It will ensure that devices can have a simple design for everyday use and an enhanced user interface with Augmented Reality.
Technology and creation
The key to success is to visually connect digital content with the real world. The immersive experience. This is achieved by AR glasses or the smartphone to combine virtual content with the real visible environment. This already makes the difference to Virtual Reality (VR) clear. Because this is decoupled from the real environment and you are immersed in a purely artificial world.
To work successfully, Augmented Reality needs both technology and a content idea. It’s like a metaphorical marriage between the nerd and the creative. Both sides are needed to create a truly great Augmented Reality concept. One side can’t function properly without the other if the solution is to be successful.
Smartphones and tablets are then the most convenient and cost-effective hardware for the application of Augmented Reality. The range of AR glasses, such as Microsoft’s Hololens or Nreal, has grown – but in widespread use, a smartphone or tablet is still the best solution.
The Augmented Reality software required for this can best be explained in three basic steps. First, the technology needs a so-called trigger. This trigger can be an image, a location, a 3D object. It is necessary to “activate” Augmented Reality and determine what content to display. Once the trigger is detected, the content is displayed. Thirdly, an online conversion can then be activated, for example a link to a website or social media.
Basis for staging
The content, the basic idea of Augmented Reality staging, tells the message. What do you want to stage? The possibilities are endless and range from 3D models and green screen files to audio and video fragments. Thanks to the trigger, the software knows which content to show.
It gets really exciting when the individual users become part of the AR application. It is now possible to integrate (human) movements in 3D as video and holograms into Augmented Reality. Every unique movement or every unmistakable facial expression is digitized by Volumetric Video Capture and can be integrated into the communication.
You can get a first impression in the following video:
Together with our partner agency Dutch Rose Media from Eindhoven, one of the most innovative Augmented Reality specialists in Europe, we develop individual solutions for your needs that optimally combine technology and content/idea.
Ulf Gassner, 17.09.2021