As you might know, I wrote my last blog post about augmented reality and the new options it may hold for customers to enjoy and experience new technical discoveries, but then I noticed that I had written a lot about the way augmented reality works, but nothing about possible business ideas.
That I presented to you Layar and Total Immersion was only the beginning in a broad field of new companies and new ways of making money with techniques of augmented reality, so I decided to write an entry to give people a first idea of what to do when wanting to make money with augmented reality.
So how can one’s company use this hot new technology to make money? Is augmented reality really the future of advertisement? And will augmented reality really be implemented in our daily life?
Let’s find out, shall we?
Before, I tell you more about my research I would like to ask you to read my introduction blog about augmented reality, so you know what it is really all about.
As you have been able to read in my first blog post about AR, you may know that I already talked about Robert Rice, who is a recognised world leader and pioneer for the commercialisation of mobile augmented reality. Apart from his opinion, that by 2012 augmented reality based applications will have generated more than $1 billion and that it will most likely help to recover from the financial depression, we have not heard all of his forecasts. I thought it quite interesting to find out whether it is really worth to tell you more about AR than I already did, because it may very well be the next big thing, but just as likely, it could be a huge failure and therefore, my efforts would serve no real purpose.
Therefore, I reread Rice’s blog entry to find the most suitable predictions for someone who wants to invest in the augmented reality market. Also I searched for other opinions on the future of AR.
The analysis firm Juniper Research predicts that the development of augmented reality applications will create a more than $700 million worth industry by 2014.
Rice argues that not only the screens of smartphones will be important but also wearable display technology. The current leaders of this technology are Vuzix, Microvision and Lumus Optical. I though their products to be quite interesting so you might want to check them out, if you have some spare time. Keeping in mind such a possible development, He estimates that there will be a huge rise in sales of wearable displays that are able to use augmented reality applications.
Also, I tells us that company that have a high brand value like Apple or Sony will probably developed their own systems which will lead to a high demand in branded devices. This seems not very unlikely, taking into consideration that Apple has already revolutionised devices like mobile phones and audio players, which were common, even before Apple became so very famous.
Nikki Brown, the chief marketing officer for CytoSport, which already did a huge augmented reality advertisement campaign, argues that AR allows the customer to interact and identify oneself with the brand.
For people, who want to earn money with augmented reality it is vital to know that marketing, advertisement and entertainment will be the first industries to adopt AR and use it to make money.
However, taking into account the place where one would like to start bulding up one’s AR company, one should take a look at Asia which will in contrast to North America, be the first most likely market to develop augmented reality applications.
The downfall, however, might be Rice’s prediction that the mass media will fail to use augmented reality to its full dept and the majority of augmented reality related content will be user-generated.
Also John C. Havens, who is the senior vice president of social media at Porter Novelli, a global PR firm argues that augmented reality can be easily reduced to a cheap gimmick and therefore, it might be difficult to inspire higher sales.
Even though, no one will be able to predict the future and there even may be some aspects that appear to be a little bit threatening for the success of AR, I am quite convinced that augmented reality will be an important business factor in the following years.
To get further opinions about developing new business ideas, I searched for ‘augmented reality, market’.
Virtual advertisement seems to be the focus of current predicaments.
It was clear to me that needed to know more about marketing startegies with the help of augmented reality. To get a great overview read this gorgeous article by Amalia Agathou about Augmented Reality Marketing Startegies.
To complete my blog post about AR, I searched for examples and business plans on Google Blog Search.
There are business ideas that show aspiring augmented reality related company founders that AR could be the next big thing. Catherine Chow and Corina Nurimba, the co-founders of Tobi.com, a San Francisco-based online clothing retailer, were approached by e-commerce developer RichRelevance about integrating an augmented reality application into their website. The program, called Fashionista, which was co-developed by RichRelevance and the digital marketing agency Zugara, simulates a virtual dressing room for online shoppers. (source)
Just like I explained to you in my first blog entry, it works with a piece of paper, hold in front of oneself, a camera and a screen where it looks as if one is wearing the dress in reality. The technology may not be perfect but Jeff Lee, Tobi.com‘s vice president of products and technology as already received a lot of very positive feedbacks, concerning the technology.
There is for example Metaio a German company founded in 2003 by Thomas Alt and Peter Meier, after they won a business plan competition. Now, they have 64 employees and also work in the US and in South Korea.
They have two main products, Junaio and Unifeye, the first being their consumer brand, and the latter being focused on the business to business customers. Junaio is itself, a platform that will allow anyone with some programming knowledge, to begin programming applications for it. (source)
There are also the firms, like Layar and Total Immersion which I already presented to you.
In my opinion creating a new industry is never that easy and there surely will be failure but also success. I think that especially marketing with AR will help costumers to appreciate advertisement much more and therefore, be much more interested in the product.
However, we will see what the future brings.
For further information check out the blogposts by Robert Rice. He writes very well and it’s easy to understand. He is also one of the persons, who argue that for augmented reality to have success, one would need a new catchy brand name to recognise it more easily.
What do you thing would be fitting?
‘Outernet’ (just like the Internet), ‘Holovid’ (just like in Star Trek), ‘AugReal’ (just like a lame abbreviation) ore maybe even ‘iReality’ (someone who doesn’t get this allusion is dumb.. :D)
Tell me about your ideas!