Augmented Reality for Mobile Phones

Augmented reality is more available to consumers than one might think. But what is augmented reality? In essence, it is the process of using technology (this time through a smartphone) to add different layers of information to what we see. Using the software for image recognition (on a smartphone) triggers an augmented reality video for the user.

One software product – Aurasma – uses a smartphone’s camera and apps to add “auras” (such as 3D images, games, and animation) on to real-world places and things. What is Aurasma? Available on smart devices, Aurasma uses technology that is capable of recognizing images, symbols and objects in the real world and understanding them. It can then deliver digital content in real time, including videos, animations, audio or webpages.

This TED Talks video, featuring Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaers of Aurasma, illustrates the power and reach of the new technologies. They demonstrate how using the application can add new insights and meaning onto the world around us. By pointing a smartphone at an image, the application can overlay (an aura) over the image and bring it to life using additional information. The video illustrates the use of the application with static images. An example is bringing a newspaper Wimbledon tennis story to life by overlaying videos on the static image. By pointing a phone at a movie poster, a video trailer can be launched; pointing at a building brings up an interactive map.

Watch the TED video and consider the applications for new product development and marketing tactics.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the video from TED Talks: or from YouTube at
  2. Have students look up additional information on the company Web site:
  3. Have students with smartphones download and try the application. Then have them share their experiences in class the next day.
  4. What are the implications of this technology for marketing of products and services?
  5. How can this technology be applied in marketing a product?
  6. How can consumers use the technology to improve or enhance their experiences?

Source:  TED Talks, other news sources

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