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November 06, 2012

Augmented Reality: The Future of Marketing Apps?

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

What’s the next trend in apps and marketing? According to a report from Juniper Research (News - Alert), it just might be augmented reality (AR).

With more brands and retailers looking into AR, it will generate an estimated $300 million in global revenue in 2013.

While the biggest revenue will still come from the traditional pay-per-download payment model, AR is poised for growth. Many retailers are looking at it as a new way of improving their customer engagement, while providing more information about their products as well as virtual games and activities with their brand name.

Of course the most important thing for AR to become a key marketing tool is for consumers to use it. Current devices that use augmented reality – such as phone cameras, GPS devices and even the Nintendo 3DS video game system – are still limited technologically, preventing them from living up to the expectations of consumer and company alike.

Also of note is that games currently comprise the largest share of AR app downloads, but there will still be an estimated two to three billion AR apps downloaded to smartphones and tablets by 2017. (Even as that Nintendo 3DS has some downloadable games using the AR features to track one’s movements and scan cards for unlocking content, although that’s less likely to be used for advertising for anything outside of Nintendo.)

Furthermore, many prototypes of wearable devices, such as Google (News - Alert) Glass, are deploying AR. If all goes well, these should make it far easier to scan AR codes and experience augmented reality features and games.

As it is now, though, the potential is limited.

More information can be found on the Juniper Research website. In it, it discusses how augmented reality has evolved over the last year and a half, how it’s being used to strengthen business models, and the opportunities it presents.

Edited by Braden Becker
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