Smartphones today represent 25% of global population with 1.75 billion devices and on average, users spend 7 hours per day on these devices which have a deep impact on how they perceive the world. 7% of total retail sales are now done over smartphones globally; however, consumers constantly complain about being bombarded with cluttered advertisements. Tech gurus are now addressing this market with the upcoming innovation of augmented reality.
Aurasma is HP’s latest innovation in the AR segment which uses geolocation to deliver targeted augmented reality experiences. It targets the mobile AR Apps market which is expected to reach $1.6 Billion by 2019. The app is available for free download for iOS and Android device users and offers both in-app and Aurasma Studio features to provide flexibility to users. The in-app features offer simple and limited reality experiences which are only viewable on one device whereas Aurasma Studio is best fit for large scale implementation, especially when users want to view the content on multiple devices and are looking for more sophisticated and professional AR experiences. Although it is available for free download to the end-users, HP charges companies who use Aurasma to enhance customer experiences. To date, the platform has surpassed 100,000 global customers in over 100 countries. Following are some example of how Aurasma is enhancing the way companies traditionally interacted with customers in the field of retail, consumer goods and education.
Aurasma users advanced image and pattern recognition technology to enhance user experience with everyday life products. According to a survey conducted by USPS, the response rate of direct mail rises from 3% to 37% with augmented reality enhancement. This has attracted the attention of many clients over the past few months who are constantly looking for innovative ways to target customers and increase the likelihood of purchase. So far, Aursama has been working with clients for versatile industries including, but not limited to, retail, fashion, entertainment, sports, automotive, education, advertising and publishing. Moreover, every Aurasma AR experience (or ‘Aura’) has built-in analytics to help marketers reach ROI goals and communicate performance and value of AR campaigns. This introduction of objective measures is helping companies bring AR alive while meeting business targets. Aurasma also helps clients develop new analytics scorecards featuring clear goals benchmarking for clicks, views, and engagement and how the same measures compare across multiple social media platforms.
Pictorial representation of scorecard measures which Aurasma offers to its clients
Although Aurasma has done well for HP to date today and focuses more only on the software side, it cannot fully shelter HP from the threat that big giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft impose which do not just offer AR software but also hardware, selling an integrated augmented reality experience. Many have often criticized how the app is not defensible given the attention which AR has been receiving from all tech companies recently. We are yet to see if the app’s free download strategy, comprehensive analytics dashboard and versatile application would help it sustain a competitive advantage in this fast-growing market.