NEWS12 March 2019

AR gives researchers ‘another way of measuring things’

AI Data analytics Impact 2019 Media Mobile News Technology UK

UK – Augmented reality is a boon for researchers, giving them "another way of measuring things", according to Jennie Roper, head of insight at out-of-home specialist Kinetic.


Roper was talking during an Impact 2019 panel session hosted by Dr Alastair Goode, cognitive scientist at Gorilla In The Room, in which she shared her views about the ramifications of augmented reality for outdoor advertising.

"We are the older place-based medium and mobile is the newest place-based medium," she said. "Mobile really impacted on our business. But we can use mobile now to amplify our medium, through geo-targeting, when consumers might get a signal walking past a poster."

Roper pointed out that for researchers, while real-world experimentation can be expensive, AR enabled them to A-B test an advertising billboard "quite cheaply".

The conference session also looked at some of the ways that augmented reality has popular applications beyond mobile game Pokemon Go.

Accordingly, Greg Ivanov, head of AR/VR/Lens partnerships (EMEA) at Google, talked about how the tech giant is developing immersive tech.

Ivanov showed the audience an image of the first photograph ever taken, a blurred image from 1826, and juxtaposed it with a high-def photo taken by smartphone in recent times. "Imagine how we've evolved from that to this," he said. We all have smartphones now. It’s more than a camera, it’s a computing interface."

He envisages a future when people are no longer staring at their mobile touchscreens but are instead looking at the world through a device that overlays their vision with information about the world around them.

The apogee of AR will be when people no longer have to reach into their pockets to reach for their smart device. "The way of thinking of this is having a superpower. Our overall mission is giving users these superpowers," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Carl Smith, director of the Learning Technology Research Centre at Ravensbourne University, outlined some of the applications of "extended reality", the "umbrella term meant to simplify all immersive technologies".

He gave the audience an array of examples, from tech that can "slow time in real-time and allow us to see patterns we don't usually see", deleting objectionable elements of reality from sight or sound ("diminished reality") to enabling consumers to put their tongue on their mobile device to taste their meal before they go to a restaurant.