Augmented reality and the future of retail
One theme of SXSW both this year and last has been augmented and virtual reality. But while companies, organizations and individuals may want to harness the power of this technology, often they don’t know where to start. At the 9:30am Saturday SXSW Interactive presentation “More than Mobile: Augmenting Today’s Retail Reality,” Annie Weinberger provided several examples of how companies are using AR to create immersive experiences quickly and easily.
Weinberger is both VP and GM of HP’s Aurasma — “a powerful drag-and-drop web studio that enables anyone to easily create, manage, and track augmented reality experiences.” Because of the growing popularity of mobile usage, Weinberger’s team uses AR technology to work hand-in-hand with print and physical campaigns like direct mailers, catalogs, and even live events. Customers can use their mobile devices to virtually “try on” merchandise and can “tap to buy,” or take a picture to share on social media. AMC Theaters uses Aurasma to create an experience in which users can hold their smartphones up to movie posters to watch trailers and, using geolocation services, purchase tickets to that theater’s location.
Weinberger explained that customer satisfaction and loyalty spikes when traditional channels are mixed with a mobile, AR experience. Aurasma calls its AR experiences “auras,” and any client can create them, from Disney or NASCAR, to small business or individuals. “Auras” can be integrated within a current app, or on the Aurasma app itself.
As augmented reality becomes more prevalent in our world, it is becoming increasingly important for companies, brands and even news organizations to join these spaces. Companies like Aurasma provide platforms to integrate these experiences easily and effectively.
Aurasma is hosting the Interactive Mix tonight from 6-8pm at the Swan Dive to help kick off SXSW Interactive with free drinks and giveaways to badge holders.