Arguably one of the coolest things that the combination of video capture and processing power can give you is AR (or Augmented Reality) which is essentially when the view of reality is modified to enhance your perception of the reality — be that with more information, or the ability to manipulate digital elements in real life.
The snappily named MWL2010 iPhone app is the latest of these, and is one that pushes new boundaries by being the first designed exclusively to run on your iPhone for a live exhibition which in this case is Marketing Week Live 2010 (hence the ‘MWL’ in the name) which was held at Kensington Olympia on 29th-30th June.
This app is special because of the way that it allows users to access a whole new stream of information whilst walking round the expedition by using the iPhone’s image capabilities to find out exhibitors websites, contact numbers and even Twitter feeds simply by pointing their phone at the company’s logo.
In addition to this, the iPhone app also offers AR geotagging through The Hedonists’ Guide which allows the user to locate local amenities easily using the GPS in the phone, things such as bars, clubs, hotels and restraints — things you will probably not know if you are not a local.
Finally it also offers the general information that you would expect to be available through a mobile phone app like this such as the ability to browse through exhibitors, find out what is happening through itineraries, schedules and the times for presentations, Twitter feeds and all the general show information.
Richard Skaife, YuzaMobile CEO, who produced the MWL2010 iPhone app states, “It’s great to see the UK’s number one exhibition for marketers truly leading the way with the use of augmented reality and image recognition – arguably two of the most talked about breakthrough technologies of the moment. We are proud to showcase the future at Marketing Week Live”
Whilst this does perhaps over-exaggerate the current popularity of the technology his excitement is well placed as this is something that we will definitely see growing over the coming years as more people catch onto, and appreciate the possibilities it allows and how your geographical location affects your usage of the Internet.
Mark Choueke who is the editor of Marketing Week summed it up very well when he said: “This app will arm MWL2010 visitors with real-time knowledge of everything going on at Marketing Week Live and provide them with a fantastically interactive exhibition experience during the two days. Such apps will change the landscape of future exhibitions and we at Marketing Week are delighted to be leading from the front”
And it is that latter point that makes this app really interesting: we have had Augmented Reality for a long time and in fact we have even had it on smartphones for a significant period of time — long enough really for this kind of addition to slip under the radar.
However this is the first time that we have seen it used for a live exhibition and it is in this use that I think Augmented Reality really comes into its own and I imagine we will be seeing it slowly spread across the board beyond this MWL2010 iPhone app.
For instance, being able to look up bands by their names or find places of interest at events like Glastonbury, further information on items in museums and picture prompted tour guides are all things that could easily be done using this technology, and hopefully this breakthrough will prompt this Augmented Reality growth!