Posted: 14th May 2013By: AdminTags: Standard

Enhancing reality not augmenting it

Augmented reality is no longer new technology but it seems like it has become the first suggestion on the lips of most when it comes to a cutting-edge experience. There's no doubt what AR can deliver has reached beyond superimposing 3D clothing on shoppers and blippable content, but the breadth of technology and innovation that are available for experiences are far beyond what it alone can offer.

So what next?

Peripheral projected illusions (PPI) are an exciting new technique that can give the user a more immersive experience than just using standard audio/visual content. A far more compelling and more interactive use for projection mapping than many of the examples we see used by brands almost daily. The technique sees an image projected around the borders of an existing screen which is synced to the content displayed – creating the illusion for the consumer that they are inside the image shown.

But while technology can fuel a more immersive experience, it doesn't have to be the focus of it. Exciting new projects allowing technology firms to collaborate with groups and individuals from creative disciplines are producing equally fascinating results. The Creators Project – a collaboration between Vice magazine and Intel are the proof of that. A current project sees a laser forest created in the STRP Biennale in Eindhoven. Each of the 150 'trees' illuminates when touched creating a sound that harmonises with those from the other 'trees' creating a choreographed visual and aural experience.

How to make it a worthwile

One of the key principles to creating a successful tech-reliant experience is to make sure that it is human-centric. Not only does that mean it should be ergonomic and user-friendly it also means it should connect with its audience on an emotional level. Emotions are a key motivator for consumers and something that experiential can deliver better than most other mediums. An example being The Rain Room – a beautifully conceived and delivered experience created by rAndom International. A stunning and surreal indoor space where 2,500 litres of water falls as rain. The twist being that attendees can walk through the falling rain without feeling a drop thanks to 3D cameras which capture the movement of the user in real-time and turn off the relevant valves to stop them getting wet.

What does it mean for experiential?

A major focus of all of the above examples is how an experience can engross users with human-centric content. Moreover, how experiences which harness technology can deliver true emotional engagement. This is how brands can get closer to those they want to talk too and ultimately have an impact on behaviour.