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Augmented Reality: the content of the future?

In recent years, interest in Augmented Reality has grown a lot between technology lovers. Nowadays, it assumes an increasingly preponderant role in the digital interactions of users, which makes us question about the role of Augmented Reality in the production of content in the future.

First, it is important not to confuse Augmented Reality with Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality is a technology that replaces everything we see in the real world for 100% virtual content. As a rule, special technology, such as Augmented Reality glasses, is required so that the user has no access to anything from the real world and sits immersed in a new reality during the experience.

Augmented Reality projects information such as images, graphics, characters, and text in the real world. A very popular example is the game Pokémon Go, whose characters appear and are captured by the player in the environment in which the person is as if they were part of it. Another very popular application of augmented reality is Instagram Stories and Snapchat filters, which include animations and accessories superimposed on the images captured by the smartphone's camera. The great advantage of Augmented Reality over Virtual Reality is precisely that it does not rely on expensive objects and does not isolate those who use it, as only common smartphones are needed.

With the increasing success of Augmented Reality, social networks have also bet on this technology. Snapchat created Lens Studio in December 2017. Lens Studio allows anyone to submit "lenses", ie augmented reality experiences, and share them with millions of users around the world. In just two months, more than 30 thousand animations were submitted on the platform.

Soon after, Facebook launched its own version: the AR Studio. As early as 2018, the Snappables came, a set of Augmented Reality games created by Snap Inc. in which players use touch, movement and facial expressions to play.

More recently, Facebook ads have also begun to incorporate Augmented Reality. Brands like Sephora or Michael Kors now allow you to try on sunglasses or makeup without leaving the comfort of home. Users can click on a Michael Kors ad and use the camera on their smartphone to overlay the sunglasses on their faces and see how they look in different models and colours. The same can be done with virtual lipstick in a Sephora ad.

Finally, IKEA’s new application allows you to virtually "place" IKEA products in your home. Just point the camera of the mobile phone to the area you want to furnish and choose the product you want to put on that place. The app includes 3D and full-scale models of everything from sofas and armchairs to tables and beds. However, IKEA Place is still only compatible with iPhone 6s and latest models.

Marketers know that content is constantly evolving and that they should keep up with trends and learn to take advantage of new technologies. Augmented Reality is creating the most creative and interactive content, making it especially appealing at a time when social networks play a central role in our lives. The real challenge for content producers will be to think outside the box and create 3D content that leverages the success of Augmented Reality among users.

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