Is augmented reality the way forward?

It seemed only yesterday when we were told that QR codes were set to revolutionise the way we accessed information by enabling us to scan the familiar grid onto our smartphone to either find additional product information or access a database, like your British Airways check in option for example.

Image representing metaio as depicted in Crunc...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Two years in internet terms have become like a day in politics in our times; a small change can revolutionise an entire process, dispatching a new process into premature obsolescence.  And this it seems is exactly what is going to happen to QR codes, to be brutally replaced shortly by AR.

AR? Well, Augmented Reality that is.  AR has been around for a while as a concept, but not that long as a viable solution.  Nevertheless AR is at the very heart of what Google is developing with its Google Glasses. But you don’t have to fork out the $1000 for a pair of Google Glasses to access AR these days – it’s already available in an app near you, Android or iOS.

So how does AR work?  Well, it’s really simple, you point your phone (or rather the camera phone) and that’s it, just like for a QR code, except of course you get much more.  For example, with the app developed for the teenage magazine Seventeen you can click on the fashion items you see in their mag and these are automatically added to your shopping cart, discount included.  If you don’t believe me visit their site here.  IKEA has gone a step further, with an app that literally adds furniture from their catalogue to your own room, so you can see immediately how a table, or a chair would fit into your surroundings.  Google Glasses are essentially based on the same principle so as you are walking down a high street you may get enhanced information about the reality that surrounds you, from shops reviews, to special offers and more.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Companies like Metaio from Germany have been at the forefront of innovation in this field for some years, as part of an EU funded project called Venturi, you can even take a look at some of the innovative tools this consortium is planning in theirYouTube channel.

AR is now accessible to almost every company, though at a premium for now.  But as technology becomes more widespread this tool will become much more accessible.  We can’t wait to do our first AR app.

(first published in on October 15, 2013)

Economic betrayal?

Lady Jayne: Killer

A couple of weeks ago I co-authored an article on the economy, based on a recent interview given by a well-known international economist on fallacies such as the possibility of paying our way out of the global debts through normal means, the spurious correlation between amount of cash in circulation and inflation, the perpetuation of banking errors and why we shouldn’t sell our family silver, among others.

I don’t normally publish economic articles in this blog, but in case you are interested you can access the article here – you may want to make yourself a coffee first though, it’s quite long!

SEO basics every PR pro should know

See on Scoop.itPR, Social Media and Marketing

Instead of trying to win the battle for dominance, pros in the public relations and search engine optimization fields should be learning from one another.

Maurizio Fantato‘s insight:

As this article quite rightly states in its opening line, the  recent algorithm change by Google has ruffled a few feathers, especially in PR circles.  Much of it is speculation, more so as very few know what Google is really up to and how the next upgrade might even change the goalposts yet again (I speculate that more emphasis will be placed on cross platform and mobile integration).

What surprises me is all this talk about ‘quality’ as this was an attribute that had just been discovered and not something everyone should have been concerned with from day one.   It was always known, for example, which were the most coveted links; just as we always knew that if we provided really informative, engaging  and easily accessible content there was a much higher chance of it to be ranked highly by Google.

So what Google has done is to root out some of the bad practices. Some of these included rebroadcasting the same news item across many channels, in the hope it would make it to the top of the first search engine page, regardless of whether it was really newsworthy. This is now history, and good riddance too – it was just spam under a different guise.

We are all agreed that quality content is king.  Yet producing truly original content requires a professional approach, in depth understanding of the product or service on offer, the target audience and of all other related marketing issues.  It is an inherently expensive process, but then this is what quality is all about – ultimately only quality customers and quality agencies/consultants will survive.

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