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Serious Games Market: 2009 The Year Of AR



WHAT: According to Gartner, augmented reality is one of the Top 10 strategic IT technologies of this era. As recently as a year ago, the nature and scope of the market for augmented reality (AR) were unclear. As 2009 drew to a close, AR may well have touched half a billion people.

With that kind of rapid growth, what does the future hold? What’s true, what’s hype and what’s real? Does AR represent a “new human interface,” where digital information and the physical world co-exist seamlessly? Factoring in the growth on the hardware side -- with computers doubling in processing capability every 18 months and predicted to have the equivalent of human intelligence by 2020 – how will this technology reshape our perceptions and experiences?

Total Immersion  is the global leader in augmented reality and a pioneer in commercializing the technology. Through its patented D’Fusion technology, Total Immersion blurs the line between the virtual world and the real world by integrating real time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream. Founded in 1999, Total Immersion is based in France and maintains a U.S. presence in Los Angeles .

In the past nine months alone, the rapid evolution of AR has contributed to breakthrough digital marketing campaigns for Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonald's; AR Avatar toys for Mattel (said CNET , “I’ve seen the future of toys and it’s augmented reality”); social media applications for Kia;, AR entertainment promotions for Paramount’s Transformers and Star Trek; AR consumer packaged goods campaigns for Procter & Gamble; AR in publishing with InStyle magazine -- even an AR attraction at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park. And that’s just for starters.

With augmented reality proliferating on multiple screens and in various guises within such a brief period, the challenge in 2010 will be to decipher what truly is AR from what’s being billed as AR, and to understand how these very different versions – and visions – compare.

WHO: CEO and co-founder Bruno Uzzan runs operations and business development for the company and has built its client roster since its founding in 1999. North America General Manager Greg Davis oversees Total Immersion’s U.S. presence and has participated in the development of various breakthroughs in digital media over the past 13 years. Says Davis:

“AR has been in the consumer mainstream for less than a year now. Enabling web-based AR quickly opened up an enormous array of digital marketing applications. Digital marketing is the very visible tip of the iceberg, but below the water line, there’s a vast array of applications – many of them transformative – that are poised for development, even as marketing applications mature.

“AR is a trend, not a gimmick. It’s nothing less than a new human interface, a new paradigm that encompasses anything digital or virtual that ‘crosses over’ into your real environment. As such, this begins to define a new type of interactive, sensory engagement.

“We all need to catch up to the technology – it’s evolving so quickly that it’s been difficult to process and even more challenging to assimilate. We’re stepping into a new world, where a variation of Moore ’s Law applies: capabilities and application knowledge are growing almost exponentially. The skillset is expanding accordingly, and AR will be even more pervasive a year from now.

“Here’s what’s on the near- term horizon for emerging applications:

o E-commerce/retail enhancements

o Experiential education and entertainment

o Applications in medicine and science

o Embedded AR in durable consumer products

o Public safety and transportation

“At this stage of AR’s evolution, the killer app has yet to surface. But rest assured – it’s coming soon to a mobile phone, billboard, Mac or PC, or custom interactive kiosk near you.”

HOW: For further perspectives on the future of AR or to arrange a briefing with Uzzan or Davis, please contact Jennifer Spoerri (415-577-0171) or Shari Nakakura (509-366-7778) , for Edge Communications, Inc.