Blippar Marmite – Product PackARging

The Blippar application on smartphones is an interesting development in Augmented Reality. It is using markers to determine what to show and where to show it in a magic lens configuration (sticking virtual over a real view of the world with your camera/screen). However the markers are not odd looking tags but merely the unique brand images from product packaging.
Blippar Marmite
In this case it it detecting Marmite and providing some overlay recipes and information. What was good was that it was not an ordinary jar of marmite but an commercial tub (I buy in bulk !)
So if it sees a logo it has in its library then it initiates the AR experience.
Of course if you see an unusual marker with other AR or even just the simple QR codes you may be inspired to reach for your phone to view it, rather like seeing a text URL and typing it in. However as this gets more prevalent, maybe always on cameras looking for content for our headsup displays on out glasses or contact lenses then that becomes less of a barrier to entry.
There is of course an odd problem with this. What you are doing is replacing and obscuring the brand logo, the very thing you recognize, with some extra digital content. I hope there will be some more clever design (rather like on the 3DS AR games where the table becomes warped and morphed) that incorporate, not just replace/overlay the marker.
Still, its a massive change from a few years ago when AR couldn’t happen easily without people having lots of screens and cameras. Now, ordinary (yet still quite pricey) devices let us explore digital layers and see information that is not usually visible.
Don’t forget though AR is not just one layer on a real environment, there is lots of scope to use the principles and invent some very clever real/virtual mashups

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