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Augmented Reality Becoming An Option For Consumer Engagement

Emerging technologies such as augmented reality are on their way to transforming how we conduct business, according to John Havens, SVP, Porter Novelli. He spoke at Business Development Institute’s Mobile Social conference on Wednesday in New York.

Havens said some of these seemingly futuristic capabilities have actually been around for a while and have been more widely used in other countries.

Corporations have been featuring augmented reality, which can be accessed on a laptop, webcam, or mobile phone in many creative ways. The capabilities include enabling customers to solve a variety of problems.

Augmented reality also allows for a more direct level of engagement with consumers, and represents another platform for PR professionals to consider using on their clients’ brands. Havens predicted that the “utility and ease of use will lead to rapid adoption” of these cutting edge techniques, but that privacy issues will have to be addressed.

Among those companies that have experimented with augmented reality technology is BMW, which has used it to help drivers fix their cars.  When a driver is wearing special goggles, an icon pops up and they can watch a video about how to change their engines.

Facial recognition technology is another emerging area Havens cited that has the ability to “change the dynamic of social interaction.” StreetSpark is an augmented reality dating app. Once someone’s face is scanned with StreetSpark, a user rating and comments become available. He cited an example of a woman who could find out that her potential date has a low user rating and is “emotionally inaccessible.” Ultimately, it’s a way to save time and resources to determine whether to connect with other single people nearby…or not.

[Image via ComputerGraphica]

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