Researchers and engineers have been pulling graphics out of your TV screen and computer display and integrating them into real-world environments. This new technology, known as augmented reality, blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing our senses.
Augmented reality (AR) is changing the way we view the world by what we see, hear, feel and smell. For example, if you are walking down the street, informative graphics will appear in your field of view and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head.
According to a recent Juniper Research report, AR is the next trend in apps and marketing. With more brands and retailers looking into AR, it is estimated to generate $300 million in global revenue in 2013.
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Recently, Big Machine Records and Aurasma, an AR platform added AR to the Taylor Swift mobile application. Video content featuring Taylor Swift talking about the inspiration behind the "Red" album artwork can be found by opening the app's AR feature and pointing the device's viewfinder at an image featured on the new album and on in-store displays at select Walmart stores.
Available as a free app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices or as a free kernel for developers, Aurasma uses image recognition to blend the real-world with interactive content such as videos and animations called "Auras,” which can be created for printed images, product packaging, clothing, physical places and users can create their own.
"Integrating Aurasma augmented reality in Taylor Swift's mobile app gives her fans an amazing new way to experience Taylor," said Jennifer Rapp, general manager of Aurasma, in a statement. "Big Machine has embraced Aurasma's augmented reality platform in order to add even more great content to Taylor's mobile app to share with her fans."
Using Aurasma's image recognition technology, the image comes to life on a mobile device to deliver a special experience for fans. Instructions to discover the AR content appear on in-store Walmart displays as well as Taylor Swift's official website, Twitter feed and Facebook page.
“The inspiration for the 'Red' album artwork and photos came from my personal style from the past year," said Swift on the video within the app. “I'm fascinated by the fashion from the '50s and '60s and pulled inspiration from those decades, and I'm personally so proud of the resulting photos included in the album artwork."
In addition to providing exclusive content from the album, "Red", the app will bring content to life on her Taylor Swift Wonderstruck fragrance packaging from Elizabeth Arden and at Walmart displays throughout the U.S.
Moving forward, the Taylor Swift mobile app will include more AR content moving forward. The mobile app is available for free now in the iTunes Store as well as Google Play.
Edited by Jamie Epstein