February 14, 2012

Going Rogue: Innovators to Follow – Day 2; Augmented Reality

While day 1 started with an industry that is always adopting changes, today we are turning to an industry that is still in development.  Although augmented reality has been around for several years, it has not been until the last 2 years that augmented reality has really began to break through and truly benefit organizations.

So what really makes augmented reality so awesome?  Augmented reality allows us to put a digital layer on our physical world.  That is, we now have the ability to see what we used to imagine.  Do you want to see what those shoes will look like on you?  Sure!  Will that watch look too big on my wrist?  Let’s find out!  The business cases and advantages to augmented reality are endless.


*Image courtesy of ubergizmodo

You wouldn’t necessarily think of Lego as being an innovator; their product has always been colored blocks that you can connect.  What could they possibly do to be innovative?  How about an in-store experience that will blow your mind?!?!  Last week I was strolling through the mall and found myself in the Lego store (yes, I’m not ashamed), and they have an amazing display.  You have the ability to pick up a box of Legos and hold it up to a screen.  After it has registered, the box comes to life to show you all the fun you could be having.  Naturally, I picked up the huge Star Wars Death Star kit…it wasn’t long before I saw light sabers being thrown across the screen.  Talk about a great customer experience, huh?

Twitter: @Lego



This mobile augmented reality innovator looks to combine digital images and motions with real pictures, videos, or live feeds.  Aurasma states:

“Using the smartphone’s camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer and internet connection, the technology combines image recognition and a conceptual understanding of the 3D world to recognize objects and images and seamlessly merge augmented reality actions into the scene. Without the need for barcodes or tags, the app is able to see its surrounding environment and make it fully interactive.”

With a heavy social presence and an intuitive free mobile app, Aurasma is towards the top of the food chain of augmented reality innovators.

Twitter:  @Aurasma


Total Immersion:

Hallmark, Volvo, Ebay….what do they all have in common?  They’ve all used augmented reality technology that was developed by Total Immersion.  Within a couple of clicks on their site, you have the ability to see some of the amazing projects that they have been a part of.  From turning yourself into Ironman (Paramount Pictures) to driving a car (Citroen), Total Immersion is not only developing and innovating this amazing technology – they are commercializing it.

Oh, and did I mention they have a very engaged community and a hefty 6,700 followers on Twitter?

Twitter: @totalimmersion



What if you had the ability to score a goal in the World Cup?  Or, be a member of the National Guard?  Well good news, you don’t have to be a recruit, or practice soccer for all of eternity.  Zugara has developed augmented reality software that has allowed both ESPN and the National Guard to give anyone those chances.

In addition to the amazing technology, Zugara has done numerous projects to national and governmental clients, a differentiating characteristic in this industry.

Twitter: @Zugara


Sander Veenhof:

Sander Veenhof is known as an augmented reality artist.  He has given many the ability to place sculptures in parks, fly UFOs through the night sky, and make any scenic landscape more beautiful with rain or snow.  Sander’s site has a plethora of innovative ideas, videos, and uses of augmented reality technology – not all of which came from him.  But, he does a great job of integrating his ideas with other’s brilliance.  Follow him, I’ve got a feeling he’s gonna be a part of something BIG.

Twitter: @SNDRV


Do you follow anyone in the augmented reality sphere?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Follow me @cunningham_kev