Our daily lives are filled with advertisements of the latest and greatest technologies offering to “change the way we live.” Today with such a low entry point, (thanks to the success of the Internet,) these technologies are coming in at a rapid pace. Recently we’ve begun to see the rapid adaptation of mobile applications and their defiance of technology’s limits. These applications have quickly become a part of our daily lives from booking airfare, to social media, to streaming content, etc. As we become more enthralled with the world of instantaneous, there are two pieces of growing technology that will offer us a bright and exciting future. QR codes and Augmented Reality.
In our instantaneous world we want content and experiences now. No delay. Thanks to QR codes we are able to embed a great amount of information for instant access. You’ve probably seen these square, pixalated bar codes and may not have known it. Maybe you were reading the latest magazine and breezed right pass an advertisement offering a 10% discount if you scanned their code. Or maybe you were at a food truck grabbing lunch and noticed a black and a square on the side of the truck saying “scan here.” Remember that promotional advertisement handed to you about the big concert coming next month? There’s a good possibility there was a QR code on it offering you free tracks from the band’s MySpace page. QR codes have been slowly making their way into our culture and have been integrated throughout various areas of our lives.
QR codes have brought a lot to the table in the form of our next generation of digital media and advertising. With QR codes, a company is able to promote their newest line of clothes with just one promotional media. Where as before a company would have had to send out an entire catalog of their latest clothes, now they can just send a poster, insert, or a post on their Facebook page all with a single QR code that will deliver the user to the same content in an entirely new experience. The best part is…IT’S EASY. QR codes allow for such easy setup they’re literally as easy as 1-2-3, which is the reason we’ve seen such growth in our daily activities.
There are companies that have seen the future of QR codes and the great potential they hold. These companies not only specialize in creating QR codes but also allow for scanning analytics, custom templates, etc, while allowing for yourself and or anyone else the ability to offer instant promotion, content, or a connections. The LA based company ShareSquare offers users all this and more. ShareSquare allows you to connect offline audiences with your band or brand. This has shown us just the beginning of the potential QR codes hold. In what’s coming think bigger than just offering a user a code to scan. Think about offering them an interactive experience to go with it.
A tip for those without an Iphone or the newest Blackberry, look to these websites to download a FREE scanner app to scan these little squares.
Aside from wanting things instantaneous, we like to be social and interact with content. Naturally we’re curious people and enjoy the interaction . We revel in our many means of communication and showcasing of our interests and lives with others. We enjoy tinkering with objects, reverse engineering products, and building things. Augmented Reality (AR) has given us the ability to take those curious needs an expand then to another level.
Imagine entering the Tony Stark Expo 2011…wouldn’t that be fun? Well thanks to the such movies as Iron Man and Iron Man 2 we’ve been exposed to various future possibilities of Augmented Reality. In the scene below, Tony Stark has a 3d object of his suit that he’s able to completely interact with. He’s able to move it around on all axes, add/remove enhancements – the possibilities are endless. Of course, as with most futuristic technologies, Hollywood does a great job of adding their touch and this AR experience is no different. But with new advances in hardware technologies experiences like Iron Man actuality aren’t as far off as one may think.
Ladies, have you ever been at a store and wanted to know what a particular outfit would look like on you without having to dig through all the clothes in the store to find the right color or size? With AR you would not need to. You could stand in front of a mirror and see your newest potential look without ever having to enter a dressing room.
With the ever growing popularity of QR codes, we’re beginning to see the exponential growth of Augmented Reality with it. AR’s two biggest hold ups have been hardware and easy distribution. QR codes allow for easy distribution and adaptation of AR throughout communities. In the past an affordable solution was far from available. But now with companies such as Daqri in the mix, an AR experience is affordable for anyone.
As I’m writing this article, Mother’s Day is just around the corner and what better example of AR in our lives than showing thanks to our mother’s with it. For mother’s day, Daqri partnered with the premier bakery company Goldilocks of Los Angeles to launch the Magical Augmented Reality Cakes. These cakes will have a QR code placed on them to display a special message for Mom.
As both these technologies continue to gain popularity our lives will change for the better. Soon you’ll be able to get the latest TechZulu feed with just a quick scan. Soon your mechanic will be able to have a detailed look into engine without needing the engine itself. Soon a medical student will be able to explore the human heart in detail without needing an actual heart. Both technologies will help push us forward in technology. Be ready to scan.