Tag Archives: advertising

Aurasma: Augmented Reality on your iPad, iPhone or Android

Article first published as Aurasma: Augmented Reality on Your iPad, iPhone or Android on Technorati.

At this week’s New York Tech Meetup event, (after surprise opening comments by Mayor Bloomberg), I got to see demos from several interesting new companies that exemplify the use of technology to change how we work, live and play—always something very exciting to see. One of demonstrations that jumped out was one of Aurasma, by Autonomy. Autonomy calls Aurasma “the world’s first visual browser.” As most browsers are already visual, I am not sure what this means. However, what jumped out at me was that Aurasma is a great expression of the idea that tablets (and now even some smartphones) not just keyboard-less computers, but instead a mass-market platform for augmented reality. It combines the portable application processing power, camera, touch screen and Internet connection of an Apple or Android smart device with backend image recognition and multimedia content management software to let you literally bring images you see “to life.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Point the camera at an image (billboard, magazine advert, box cover, etc.)
  2. Aurasma detects the image and replaces it with interactive web pages and multimedia adding information and enabling online transactions regarding what you are viewing
  3. This interaction is “stateful” – once you start the process you can walk away from the picture, product or billboard and continue to explore the interactive information

The video below shows how Aurasma works in action:

This type of technology opens the door to many interesting applications:

  • Turning a static billboard or print advertisement into a commercial or move trailer
  • Viewing real-time product information and reviews on a product displayed in a store
  • Immediately purchasing (online) something you see anywhere: in an advert, store window—or even a friend’s house
  • Reviewing a bio and statistics for an athlete or actor you are watching on TV
  • Overlaying a landmark or museum display with maps and historical information

What is nice about this approach is that you don’t need to put QR Codes, Snap Tags, or MS Tags everywhere (you only need to “point and shoot” at an image you see). What adds complexity is the replacing the ease-of-search that these 2D barcodes bring with less structured image recognition software (and many uploaded images). Whether this approach is “The One” remains to be seen. Regardless, it is something to take a look at (and try-out) if you are interesting taking advantage of the growth of tablets and smartphones to create rich, interactive experiences for your customers and partners—wherever they are.

Note: I have no relationship with Autonomy. I just have a strong belief that mobile, portable and capacitive touch technology will fundamentally change how we use computers in the next decade.

Tiger Blood + F/18 + Rock Star = A Special Milestone for Twitter

charlie_sheen_140pxYesterday Charlie Sheen created a new account on Twitter (@CharlieSheen). As of now, he is closing in on attracting 1 million followers within 24 hours (and 13 Tweet)—very likely a new speed record others will endeavour to break. This is much, much shorter than the time it took other big-named celebrity took to achieve this:

Does this mean anything? Or is it just another crazy social media statistic?

What this means to Twitter

While I love ‘Two and a Half Men,” I must insist that few would argue that Mr. Sheen has 30x the star power of Ms. Winfrey. Something else is going on here: Twitter is now in the mainstream. It is no longer an odd technology for Early Adopters; it is now something for everyone. This is really good for Twitter. It positions it as mainstream channel—something useful for negotiating advertising and brand development deals (and building even more valuation).

What this means to Mr. Sheen

This is a big demonstration of star power—and negotiating power—that is easily measurable. One of the breakthroughs of social media is that it provides a means to measure interest numerically—and at speeds never before imagined. Mr. Sheen is taking advantage, at a time when it can provide much leverage.

What this means for ‘Big Brands’

This provides a simple message to big, established brands: Twitter is an established channel to reach out to and communicate with everyday customers. If you are not on Twitter, it is time to join. (Hopefully, your brand has not already been hijacked).

What this means for small brands

Twitter still remains a place where smaller brands and non-celebrities can have a large voice. However, this is not as true as it used to be (even one year ago, let alone two of three). Everyone is going to have to work harder, and share more interesting insights more frequently, to stand out.

It will be interesting to see what Mr Sheen does as he breaks through 1 million Followers. It may be more enlightening to see what he does later, during May sweeps and next season’s renewal review period.

For interest: Accounts on Twitter with the most followers.