| 27 March, 2015
Getting Started with Augmented Reality: The Experience
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You've been hearing a lot about augmented reality. Intrigued by the technology, you've been thinking about how your organization could benefit by incorporating AR into your sales collateral or at an upcoming trade show or event. So... now what do you do?

The first step to getting started with augmented reality is determining what kind of experience best suits your audience, your project goals, and your budget.

Three of the most common experience types we see are the video launch, the 3D walk around, and the virtual surround.  

Video Launch

This experience is exactly what it sounds like: scanning the AR marker triggers a video. This video can be launched without an Alpha channel, meaning you would see the video full frame, or with an Alpha channel. A video with Alpha channel is something I like to call the Princess Leia effect: the main object of the video (in Leia's case, a person) appears against the backdrop of reality. Basically, Leia would be standing on your desk right next to that half-empty cup of coffee. 

3D Walkaround

In this type of experience, upon scanning the marker, a 3D object appears and can be viewed and manipulated from all angles. This experience type can also contain interactive elements on the screen that can reveal additional content, like a video, text, or even a game. 

Virtual Surround

This experience type is my personal favorite. The virtual surround places the user in the center of a spherical virtual space, unlocking a new world in which the mobile device is the user's only window. Similar to the 3D walk around experience, interactive elements that link to additional content can be incorporated into the experience.

An unofficial fourth category is something we call the Mix and Match. The Mix and Match is a hybrid category which uses more than one of these experiences together to solve a communication problem. An example of this could be a 3D object with hotspots that trigger video explanations about a product or service.  

Once you've decided on an experience type, the next step is to determine the strategy you'll use to deliver the experience. 

Check back next week, when we'll walk you through how to do just that.

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