The Sign Depot

3 Dimensional Augmented Reality and the Sign Industry

Posted by Lisa on 5/1/2012


Super Heroes, Sporty Cars and Signs

This week marks the arrival of the much anticipated summer blockbuster The Avengers.  As with all the films that Marvel creates, a large amount of licenced products will accompany the movie’s release.   Marvel has teamed up with WalMart to create a marketing campaign to continue The Avengers’ 3D experience by taking it beyond the theatre and into WalMart retail locations.  While WalMart already capitalizes on radio and tv ads, they have added an element of surprise to the mix.  It involves signs.  Signs that may look like 2D digitally printed signs to passers by, but to those “in the know” it’s the beginning of an adventure.

Through the use of Augmented Reality and a smartphone, Walmart shoppers are able to create an Avengers experience by scanning the signage for Marvel merchandise.  Although this might be the launch of Augmented Reality to masses, WalMart was not the first big brand to tap into this type of media.  Last year Volkswagon Canada used Augmented Reality to launch their new Beetle in the heart of Toronto.  They used traditional signage to create a stunt car rally to show off their enhanced model.

Augmented Reality was a term that many recognize, but few had experienced first hand.  It is a process where Geo Tags known as “layers” are embedded into a 2D sign. An Augmented Reality app reads the tags and displays the content linked to the tag on an augmented reality equipped device.  Now that smartphones are 4G (ie able to display fast streaming video), augmented reality can be experienced in the palm of your hand.  The applications are widespread and when executed properly it can attract customers by creating user experiences.  Augmented Reality is changing the 2D signage landscape into a 3 dimensional land where a smartphone or tablet can take a product and bring it life.  It will give consumers the feeling of fast forwarding into the future.  Augmented Reality will bring signage to the forefront of this cutting edge application.

What do you think is next for Augmented Reality and Signs?



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