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What is Augmented Reality? Posted in Augmented Reality, Digital Marketing Basics, Concocted by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg, 6 comments
Published on 20 April 2010

Preparation/Context: Imagine what you seen on TV or on your PC can be taken out of the screen and mixed into everyday life in the real world. This is Augmented Reality and it’s a new technology that blurs the barriers between reality and computer-generated enhancements.

Augmented RealityDon’t confuse this with virtual reality. Augmented Reality is much more like the real world. It’s more of an add-on to the real world than a recreation of it. Augmented Reality enhances reality. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the world around you becomes interactive and digitally usable. For example, while travelling through Europe, point your iPhone at the nearest hotel and get loads of information on the place on your mobile. Read the latest reviews, special offers and any other information you might be interested.

According to Kevin Bonsor “The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time.” Check out this video from Common Craft for a super easy way to understand Augmented Reality.

Also, if you’re in Joburg end of April and interested in Augmented Reality, book a seat at our Heavy Chef Session with Rich Mulholland focusing on – you guessed it, Augmented Reality!

Read more posts by Yolandi Janse van Rensburg

Yolandi Janse van Rensburg

Yolandi is writer of the Heavy Chef Blog. Yolandi is also a copywriter and community manager at web marketing firm, World Wide Creative. You can find Yolandi on Twitter @Yolandi_JvR

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  1. Rory Berry says

    Do you think that this will change marketing significantly, or will it be a passing fad?

    I ask as I have heard rumblings that facebook fan pages and the like are not as effective as they used to be and are almost “on the way out.”

    I could also be completely wrong and thats ok too. Its the only way we learn!

  2. Yolandi Janse van Rensburg says

    Hey Rory,

    I don’t think this ’significant change’ will come anytime soon but maybe further into the future. I remember being a kid thinking we’ll have flying cars by the year 2000! That was clearly not the case :P

  3. Sachin Ranchod says

    Hey Rory,

    Thanks for the questions!

    I think it’s important to recognise the fact that we haven’t seen the full potential of Augmented Reality in it’s current form. At the moment AR is limited to high-end smartphones and computers with web-cams. However, I think that when the technology that supports AR becomes cheap and ubiquitous, we will see an explosion in the number of useful applications of AR. Obviously, if this fails to happen then AR will most likely land up just being another fad.

    As for Facebook fan pages, I think it would be a grave error to dismiss them considering the size of the audience, amount of time that people spend on Facebook and the relatively low cost associated with building your community. If used correctly, fan pages allow for continuous engagement with your community which is a great brand building exercise. I think that the reason that many brands are losing faith in fan pages is that they are not fully committed to managing their page on an ongoing basis, they do not understand their fans’ expectations of post content and frequency and their page fails to unite potential fans behind a cause.

  4. Rory Berry says


    In terms of facebook, like you said and I guess its the same for all things really. Quality is infinitely better than quantity and if you have engaged your community in a quality and value adding way then it will be a place that you can use for the betterment of your brand.

    In terms of AR, like you said its not suited to a mass market with limited tech like Africa currently, sure there are a small minority that have Iphones, macs and Ipads but many people are accessing the net on very basic samsung or nokia. If AR can tap into that market, it will print money.

    @Yolandi – If you find some of those flying cars, I will take an audi R8 that flys in a heartbeat!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Mobile Marketing Makes its Mark: The future of Mobile Apps - TPG linked to this post on March 22, 2013

    [...] Virtual Reality though; the glaring difference between the two is that AR is centered on the idea of superimposing computer generated content over a live view of the world, while virtual reality merely simulates these environments. AR acts [...]