Augmented Reality (AR) is beginning to open doors in the creative technology space. For those unfamiliar with the term, AR allows people to use mobile devices to overlay digital content on the real world. Using AR applications, users can scan unique trigger images using the phone’s camera view or place digital content as they wish.
When the trigger is recognised, content appears in real time over the scene in the camera’s frame of view. This content can be anything from a still image to a complex model the user can interact with as it evolves. AR sounds complicated in theory but the application of it is incredibly simple – real life plus overlaid topical, relevant, background information equals something massively more useful.
As understanding of the technology has grown, the prohibitive costs that had limited the uptake of AR development have plummeted, turning promising potential into powerful tools. This has led to an explosion in use in both creative and traditional industries. AR-driven marketing campaigns have seen huge engagement, innovations in manufacturing have driven improvements in safety and savings in costs and efficiency.
The range of applications for AR is expanding rapidly, and with enormous investment by the giants of the tech world – Apple and Google both releasing their AR offerings this year – it will soon become a staple of the day-to-day experiences of the average mobile user.
While this is great for hardware and software creators, for designers, the 3D content, real-world context and interactive nature of the experience presents a whole new set of creative challenges for creating effective content.
To add to the challenges, AR puts control of the experience in the hand of the user and requires clever user-experience planning to make sure you are making something that simplifies, engages, empowers or demonstrates the user, and looks great from any angle.
So, with that said, how do you produce great augmented content?