Our Creative Technologist, Jon Jones explores the changes we’ve seen in Augmented Reality (AR) technology, from our first to most recent and viral campaigns.
For 15 years, Grand Visual has been at the forefront of the digital OOH landscape. From the first time we ever used AR, for a Lynx campaign (2011), to the most recent work we did for Amazon (2019), it’s safe to say that we’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty impressive AR executions.
With both feet firmly in a new decade, I’ve decided to take a look back at this journey with 2020 vision to predict what this year will bring – from tech innovation to best in class examples of AR in OOH.
The key technological change I’ve seen in AR technology is the improvement in the way that we automate it. For the Lynx campaign we did back in 2011, the AR process was entirely manual. Every single transition, vision mixing to the screen, and sending the resulting photo back to the user, each element was manual. This sort of process inherently doesn’t lend itself to any kind of longevity regarding activation times.
Fast forward to a campaign we did for Spider-Verse exactly seven years later and we were able to run the activation for over a month without any human interaction. This is in part down to the huge amount of improvement with the live graphics technologies that enable us to automatically apply visual effects to our camera feed.
Another development I’ve noticed is the scalability of which we’re able to deploy AR. Back in 2014, we worked on one of our most memorable AR campaigns of all time for Pepsi MAX. Still to this day, the campaign accounts for the majority of our website leads and is constantly shared on social media.
Back then, this use of AR in digital OOH was unique and only achievable on a small scale. However, with Snapchat lenses and filters launched the following year, a wider audience was introduced to the world of Augmented Reality. This technology is something that now exists in everyone’s back pockets and has become commonplace. Whilst it’s enjoyable to keep celebrating this award-winning campaign, it’s essential to keep looking towards the future and planning our next big project.
In 2020, when it comes to creative technology and AR executions, a key consideration is how to make these scalable and shareable experiences. Over the years we have seen inventory change in such a way that means Augmented Reality is no longer limited to a one-off stunt, and can be a more ingrained part of a campaign’s creative, like this campaign we did for O2 Goslings in 2017.
Keeping our finger on the pulse of the latest tech advances, 5G may bring quite a few benefits, provides us with a great opportunity to continue to push the boundaries of DOOH. Although, of course, it’s the creative idea behind any execution that brings success and not necessarily the most advanced technology.
This year we will keep on innovating and exploring the technology available to us, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and 5G. Augmented Reality is at the heart of some of our best interactive campaigns and we expect this to continue and evolve. Last decade was all about growing and introducing AR technology to the digital OOH landscape; we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.