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Is augmented reality a potential tool for behaviour change?24th May 2012 by John Drummond
If you haven’t yet heard of augmented reality (AR), you will very soon. It’s a way of presenting digital information onto the physical world. Google is expected to launch a set of AR glasses later this year. Apple is also rumoured to be investing in the technology.
AR builds on existing apps like Yelp (which allows you to see comments left by users on points of interest) or Aurasma (which enables people to add photos, videos and animations to anything they want to augment like buildings or signs). Foursquare allows you to share where you are with others. Blippar uses AR linked to advertising.
This isn’t confined just to what you see but also what you hear. US band Bluebrain’s latest album comes with a GPS phone app that changes the music depending on your location. Hotspots have been placed around Central Park that trigger changes to music depending on where you are.
So imagine you are wearing the Google glasses. You can see this in action on YouTube here. Imagine you are a tourist and you could get info as you walk about people and architecture (music, images, comments) or you are a protestor and can add digital graffiti to offices or logos. By the way, not all uses will be positive.
This new technology also opens up a potential new tool for behaviour change campaigns. Imagine how glasses could help you eat well (maybe adding up your calories during the day or giving you info on products you are buying) or help you exercise more (tracking your calorie consumption against a target you have set yourself). Or maybe you want to use it as a social network app to join up with others who share your passion for a cause or to create a news platform.
Keep an eye out for it and feel free to add any additional thoughts you may have on how AR might be used for behaviour change, social marketing, sustainable business, employee engagement or community power.
By John Drummond
Chairman, Corporate Culture