Lately I have started to notice an upsurge of augmented-reality apps (AR).  AR is a type of technology that blurs the line between what is real and what is computer generated.  The general type of apps I have seen implementing this technology are games.  However, as a marketer, one app that has caught my eye is Blippar.  This app enhances the world around you with virtual, instant information and entertainment.  Giving billboards, travel-cards, logos or even grocery products a more interactive experience.

It was surprising how well Blippar worked, it was fast and easy to use. We first tested on the Chelsea FC logo, and the result was that it showed us Facebook, Twitter, and Website links and even a link to the Official Chelsea app. Next we tested it on a Cadbury’s chocolate bar and it was full of content including a game.

Quak Smak

I feel this app it can help brands to increase their interaction with customers and to convey their core values, therefore increasing the B2C relationship. But this will only work with the right content. Use of such should add a real benefit for the customer to “blip”, such as promotional offers. One example is Tesco, with who you can “blip” their newspaper adverts and it can show you the nearest store or present a daily downloadable recipe. The app was launched earlier this year and already has many UK based brands on board, with the latest major client being Heinz Ketchup. The app is free to download in various app stores and is available for Apple iPhone/iPad and Android.

Tesco Blipp2

So is this an alternative to the QR codes? AR technology defiantly has the “WOW” factor, but would you really take the time to scan items to gain further information? One of the main reasons why QR codes hasn’t take off within the UK and I believe Blippar would be the same, is that the consumers don’t know how to scan a QR code or even know what one is. This can be said for Blippar, how many of you know that you can already blip brands such as Cadburys, Tesco, Arsenal FC , Natwest or even Marmite?

Don’t get me wrong I really like the idea of Blipping items and giving consumers added value, but I do feel it’s just another gimmick that may just be a waste of valuable advertising budget. I could be wrong, who knows, it might just be the next big thing. Consumers will decide, Will you be Blipping any time soon?