Augmented reality: How consumers can be programmed in real time

Updated: August 23, 2016 7:03:09 AM

There is a new acronym in the gaming and the marketing world — AR or augmented reality. For the user, the technology is similar to watching street views on a map application and in the process, also watching interactive visuals of the place and related information.

AR has now entered gaming and in a big way. Pokémon Go is just the beginning. Location data can now be overlaid with user preferences and there cannot be a better way of having a more targeted method of reaching the customer. (Source: Reuters)AR has now entered gaming and in a big way. Pokémon Go is just the beginning. Location data can now be overlaid with user preferences and there cannot be a better way of having a more targeted method of reaching the customer. (Source: Reuters)

There is a new acronym in the gaming and the marketing world — AR or augmented reality. For the user, the technology is similar to watching street views on a map application and in the process, also watching interactive visuals of the place and related information.

AR has now entered gaming and in a big way. Pokémon Go is just the beginning. Location data can now be overlaid with user preferences and there cannot be a better way of having a more targeted method of reaching the customer. Multiply this with the number of users engrossed in playing the game, and you have a whole new and large community of consumers who can be ‘programmed’ to be hungry for exploring products and services online, in real-time.

For example, targeted advertising is now possible to influence a user and lure her to an eating place that serves her preferred food when she is at or near a place where the game has taken them. Such an interactive proposition is what advertisers were dreaming of a few decades ago and are now eager to explore the seemingly infinite possibilities for their client’s products/services.

Advertisements on gaming solutions can be anything from the traditional banner adverts to pop-ups and tickers. AR now allows advertisers to be more specific of what they want to display in differing situations. Further, the client would want to lure the ‘game player’ to come to his store first and in the process would be happy to display a discount on his/her handset. In short, the advertising agency will have to be aware of the trends of heavy mobile users, in different scenarios, situations and locations.

The gaming industry has met with limited success in India, although the CAGR could be around 10% in the coming years. However, its springboard could be the games based on augmented reality or upgraded versions of existing mobile games to AR-based ones.

The idea is to get the user interested to move around in the streets and in the process visit the client.

Personal preferences of the user, which can be collected from social network sites and from the usage pattern can also be overlaid with AR-based games or solutions and this, once again, will be another winner in targeted advertising.

The verdict on new technology and on the success of newer and sophisticated campaigns by advertisers which are based on AR will still remain ‘out in the open’ for a few years from now. The reason is simple — new technologies like AR need investments, high level of bandwidth connectivity, detailed and continuous use of analytics and an ‘always on’ scenario for all concerned. In the process, intrusion on privacy is inevitable — recently, many players of Pokémon Go ended up at an unsuspecting person’s house and started making inquiries, because that was the meeting place mentioned in the game!

The author is Ashesh Jani, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP

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