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Augmented Reality: The future is here

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iPad shows computer generated material over photo

In June 2010, Event Pulse representatives attended the Meet The Future conference held at Central Hall, London, for a day of digital technology talk, event chat and presentations from influential events people from around the world.

One stand out topic from the day was Augmented Reality – but what exactly is augmented reality and how is it going to impact on the events industry? Dr Beau Lotto, the keynote of the morning, noted that we “…give meaning to things by physically engaging with them…” and that “…it is up to us [event organisers] to bridge that gap between the virtual and real worlds.”

Augmented reality is, by definition, technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Microsoft’s Hololens, the video for which captured the technology world back in January, is a prime example of how a digital/physical world bridge can be created.

Events have evolved from flat-feeling, presentation style affairs to a more engaging, rich experience, which was partly fuelled by the rise of digital technology that was being applied to events. Now though, with Augmented Reality on the horizon, the interactivity of an event – the entire experience of an event for that matter – is likely to change again.

Augmented reality is a fantastic tool to grab conference or exhibition attendees attention, meaning they spend a prolonged time with you as opposed to other brand that may also be there. From videos on the walls, interactive media on stands or a physical product demonstration – augmented reality can be articulated in many ways to get the best return on your investment.

Still not quite sold on the concept? Jaguar Land Rover launch the new Discovery Sport at the end of 2014 with a very special and futuristic spin; adopting augmented reality to take customers on a very special journey indeed!