AR Summit – Speaking to the Speakers
In the last post from today's AR Summit, I pointed to the speculative nature of some of the presentations, and the lack of hard numbers, as a sign that AR might not be quite there yet. But when I put this theory to Julian Harris, Qualcomm senior business development manager – who, to be fair, was an exception to the rule – he took me to task.
“Having done this event last year, it really was speculative,” Harris told Mobile Marketing. “There were a lot of companies talking about what they were thinking of doing, but this year the speakers are bringing real campaigns.”
But what about the lack of results? “It's a tricky one, from a marketing perspective,” said Harris. “There are people who have run very successful campaigns, but they necessarily don't want to give out the results to their competitors. If you look back at the early days of premium SMS, when brands were putting shortcodes on Coke cans and crisp packets - it was becoming ubiquitious, but you couldn't get the figures for love nor money. But once all your competitors are doing it, it's more a case of comparing and showing off. I wonder whether we'll see the same with AR.”
One of the success stories Harris brought up was Blippar, which uses Qualcomm's Vuforia technology. The best bit, he said, “is that the vernacular is getting picked up. Today, I've heard two developers saying 'my ad was blipped'.”
He wasn't the only one to mention that. Luke Robert Mason, director of the University of Warwick's Virtual Futures, also speaking at the event, said that he reckons the next step for AR is thinking about how the disparate apps and browsers could integrate into a single tool. “It's about integrating AR into one brand,” he said. “And right now, Blippar are leading that. Not necessarily because of the tech, but the name. People say 'I blipped that'. It's important – just like you tweet something, you blip something. That brand name help gives the medium validity, and it could replace the term altogether – like Sellotape did, like Facebook did. You wouldn't say 'I'm AR-ing that', just like you wouldn't say you're going to do some social networking.”