QR codes have been a major success this holiday season. The number of companies making use of the black and white barcodes has spiked in recent months as they come to realize the usefulness of the codes. While these companies – Macy’s, Sears, Best Buy – have all chosen QR codes as a way to engage holiday shoppers, they have also begun showing interest in augmented reality technology. Indeed, the technology has been seeing a swell of attention from companies throughout the country and may soon become the favored marketing tool, perhaps replacing QR codes.
Augmented reality has been around for about as long as 3D technology. Like 3D, the adoption of AR has been sluggish due to the lack of adequate hardware. Now that most consumers have smart phones, however, the technology has really begun to shine. The success of the technology, in terms of marketing potential, depends entirely on how well consumers respond to its use by companies. Given that AR can be somewhat complex, companies have had to find a balance between simplicity and effectiveness.
Starbucks is one of the companies making use of the technology for their holiday products. The prestigious coffee company has embedded AR experiences onto their holiday cups that can be activated when consumers point their smart phones at them. Chobani, a Greek yogurt company, has also made use of the technology to promote their new kid-oriented products called Chobani Champions.
Next year, companies may choose to adopt augmented reality in place of QR codes for their holiday campaigns, but only time will tell if consumers are ready for the technology.