Ad Tech – Is Augmented Reality Getting Useful?

10th May 2016

By Kristoffer Hammer, Head of Business Development, Clearcast


Last time on our ad tech blog I discussed opportunities for advertisers to make their campaigns interactive using Shazam’s audio and visual recognition technology. This week I am turning to Augmented Reality.


Augmented Reality (AR) has for a long while been lots of fun, albeit mainly for those REALLY interested in these kinds of things (fellow ad tech geeks?). Blippar is probably the best known AR app, even cropping up at the Rugby World Cup last autumn; you could check your ticket using the Blippar app and it would virtually show you your seat in the stadium alongside other match day info.


Blippar has been used for TV ads too. Channel 5 used it on a few occasions, where you simply held up your phone’s camera to the screen in order to enter competitions for film premiere tickets. But it is really when it comes to still images that the power of AR is most striking.


The new app Blippar launched in December makes it a visual browser – it recognises everyday items and gives you more information about them. Point your camera at food, film posters, animals, people or crowds and the app will tell you more about it, provide links to related articles and more besides. Now that deep learning is producing meaningful and accurate results, this is the kind of service that will no doubt grow in importance and increasingly be used by consumers.


Blippar has always seemed to work really well, but my test of the new features shows just how daunting it is for an app to recognise anything. When pointing Blippar on my shoes, it offered articles and videos about dogs. Now, that might tell you more about my shoes than Blippar …


With advertising being at the heart of the original service, it will be interesting to see how advertisers can embrace the opportunities with the deep learning. Will the Clarks website be pushed when Blippar finally recognises my shoes?


Blippar at TechCrunch explaining the Wikipedia of the Real World