The entertainment industry is increasingly exploring the seemingly endless possibilities of augmented reality for promotion, developing new mobile apps and creating interactive games. Here are just a few examples…
A cold snap hits US shopping malls
In order to promote its arctic wildlife DVD series Frozen Planet, the BBC and Discovery Channel put sea lions, polar bears and penguins in shopping malls, where shoppers could interact with the animals via AR. See the video.
And for cinema buffs…
Augmented reality technology is already widely used to help users find their way around cities and locate the nearest coffee shop or store. About a year ago, American ISP AOL and Nokia took this one step further with Entrance, a mobile entertainment app designed specially for Windows Phone. This entertainment hub enables users to stream radio stations, read showbiz gossip and news from AOL Music and HuffPost Entertainment, as well as locate the nearest cinemas via augmented reality and find out about listings, watch trailers or buy tickets.
Get ready for your close-up with Captain Jack Sparrow
Launched mid-August, the new Disney Infinity: Action! app allows users to make mini videos of themselves and then superimpose them with characters from The Incredibles, Monsters University and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. See the demo.
Barbie’s magic mirror
Augmented reality has also been used by Barbie makers Mattel, who’ve brought out Barbie Digital Makeover: using a Barbie Digital Makeover Frame, which an iPad slots into and becomes a “digital mirror”, girls can try make-up on, virtually and mess-free. Mattel are also developing similar apps with the Disney and Hot Wheels brands. Such games, which combine real elements which can interact with a digital interface, mainly tablets, are known as “Apptivities”.
Become a Sudoku champion with augmented reality
To cheat or not to cheat: that is the question… Thanks to augmented reality and Sudoku Grab, you have both options. This app is one of the ancestors (2009) of the thousands of Sudoku apps currently available, but stands out from the others in that you can use a print-out of a grid then play on your smartphone: the printed grid is photographed by the device’s digital camera and made interactive by the app. And if you get stuck, you can ask the app to give you the solution thanks to augmented reality.
Market estimations on augmented reality
- Investments in AR technologies: $670 million in 2013, $2.5 billion by 2018, according to ABI Research
- Revenue: $600 million worth of revenue to be generated by AR technology by 2016, predict the Global Augmented Reality Summit (GARS)
- Downloads: 2.5 billion AR mobile apps to be downloaded by 2020 (GARS)
- AR and the automobile industry: 103 million cars will have AR technology by 2020 (GARS)