I have recently seen several practical examples of Augmented Reality in action, and I wanted to show you a real live working example so that you can see it in action.  And I also want provide you with some guidance as to how your business could be using it.

Augmented Reality (AR) blurs the line between what is real, and what is computer generated.  It can add layers of text, graphics, video, sounds and other forms of  feedback to the natural world as we experience it.

I could write lots of technical information, but seeing is believing, and I would suggest you try some of the AR apps out to experience them for yourself.

Here is one for you to try out:

Riverlight Augmented Reality

I had the pleasure of speaking alongside James Dearsley at the Property Academy MarketingLive event, where he was discussing innovative technologies for the property industry.

He discussed Riverlight, a residential property development in London.  Their digital marketing mix includes both a website and an augmented reality app that allows potential purchases to see and interact with a 3D model of the property development.

Using the application is a 3 step process:

  1. download the Riverlight app to your iphone or ipad.  You can get the Riverlight app on the iTunes store here.
  2. print out a copy of the Riverlight “marker” – this is a 2D barcode usually printed on the property marketing brochures.  The marker serves to trigger the augmentation, so each marker is unique to the project. You can download and print the Riverlight marker here
  3. scan the marker using Riverlight app on your ipad (the app is using your camera) and then interact with the AR by pinching and swiping through the development

Here is what the printed paper marker looks like – I just printed it out using my office printer, nothing special.


Now, using my ipad I fired up the Riverlight app and scanned the marker, and the development jumped into life on my ipad screen.

I can zoom in and out of the buildings, I can see people walking and cars driving by. By integrating with other sources of data, I could check the availability of certain units, or read reviews, or learn mor about the vicinity.

riverlight augmented reality example


We took a look at this app at our team meeting today, and we all agreed this is an innovative and exciting development.

My photos can only show the very basics, so watch the video to see more about this specific example:


Could your business benefit from Augmented Reality?

So, how could your business be using augmented reality?

AR can use location information, mobility and motion information, and image recognition information and combine it with content and data from all sorts of databases and other data sources.

A recent Gartner research report discussed the use of AR in business and identified industrial use as one potential successful application:

“AR is most useful as a tool in industries where workers are either in the field, do not have immediate access to information, or jobs that require one or both hands and the operator’s attention.  As such, the impact on weightless industries is lower because these employees often have constant and direct access to the information they need (such as knowledge workers).”

And the Director magazine recently featured business use of AR in sales support,in retail, and also discusses use of devices like Google Glass. I thought the use of AR in factory production and quality assurance most interesting:

“There are uses for AR in engineering and industrial design, where designers can create visualisations of machines and components, or provide the ability to recognise features and provide directions on operation and maintenance. For example, 3D measurement technology company Faro has incorporated Metaio’s AR software in some of its devices used for 3D measurement in factory production and quality assurance. “

 And of course the retail applications give huge opportunity, with retail giant Ikea leading the way with their augmented reality catalogue.

Learn more by watching the Ikea video:



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