Augmented reality at your fingertips with Blippar

Picture this: you see a breed of dog you don’t recognise. Instead of trying to type vague descriptions of the dog into Google, (“small brown dog with big sharp ears”), you point your phone camera at it instantly recognises its breed, feeds you with information about this dog breed and even gives you related dog videos.

Sounds kind of sci-fi, doesn’t it?

Welcome to the world of augmented reality (defined by as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data). The truth is, such technology many of us expect only out of sci-fi or spy movies are accessible to all of us –and all you need is literally just a smartphone.

The RE team decided to test the phone app Blippar, a leader in mobile augmented reality. Blippar is available for download on your regular Appstore.

Using the app, point your phone at an object and it immediately provides you with keywords. (Luxury, handle, indoors etc) After assessing these keywords, the brand of the product appears (Michael Kors), providing us with information about the brand, and other brands or keywords that are relevant to it (Kate Spade New York, Coach Inc, Handbag etc). 

We tried it with a water bottle too…

Amongst many other things.

We had some laughs when the app returned our Crunchie chocolate bar as a “hot dog”, and our very Asian friend’s face as “Frank A Alexander”, a male American horse trainer. However, this mobile AR technology at its early stages has wowed us in its accessibility, breadth of knowledge and ability to analyse information without the user needing to input any other information.

With such ease of use, the potential for mobile AR is huge, especially for the consumer goods industry. Imagine picking up a lipstick used by your friend, and being able to find out all its different available shades and where you might be able to purchase it? In fact, forward thinking consumer goods brands including P&G, Coca-Cola and Nestle have already begun using augmented reality to enhance consumers’ retail experiences. 

How can you, too, create an immersive experience for your consumers using AR?