While certain aspects of augmented reality (AR) experiences are still clunky, the technology has made huge progress in the past few years. And as factors like improved hardware and greater consumer adoption keep falling into place, AR is beginning to show the potential that marketers have been promised for years. Ben Gaddis, president of ad agency T3, spoke with eMarketer’s Caroline Cakebread about what’s possible with AR today, and how marketers can best utilize it to create revenue generating experiences.
The majority of marketers have been slow to jump into AR. Why do you think that is?
We’ve been talking about the promise of AR for so long, and some marketers have been burned in the past. The problem marketers are facing now is this quarter, next quarter and maybe even the quarter after, AR experiences are not going to pay off at the same rate that other things would, and return on investment is going to be lower.
Now marketers are trying to take gimmicky experiences that don’t make sense for AR and push them into the channel. For me to go through and download an app, open it and point it at something just to see a poster on a wall isn’t helpful. Consumer adoption is also still low—it’s not acceptable to walk around with your phone over your head.
Is the hardware ready even though consumers aren’t?
For the first time, the hardware is able to deliver on AR’s promise. Overlaid data is accurate, fast and not jerky.
The iPhoneX did a lot to help that, and Apple and Google have done a lot with the ARKit and ARCore. There’s also more data available to stream and visualize than ever before, and we’re able to take information that was static and overlay it onto real world experiences.