Even though my wife and I are both well beyond the days of cereal box prize collecting, we often enjoy discussing the offers on cereal boxes over coffee in the morning.

Surprisingly, my wife and I still see a lot of static, non-interactive “back of the cereal box” offers & contests–at least in Europe.  As a cereal manufacturer, why wouldn’t you want to turn a traditional cereal box offer into something a little more interactive? Back in Apr. 2011 Nestle introduced a global augmented reality cereal box campaign; it was innovative, but probably a bit early.

Cereal boxes aside, just how close are we to realizing the branded Augmented Reality (AR) future across a broad consumer base? When are brands going to make a wholesale push toward integrating online/offline experiences in unique ways?  When are we going to move toward value added AR experiences that make advertising a little more fun?

Blippar is a London start-up that seems to have made some early AR inroads into the mainstream.  After downloading the Blippar App to your smartphone or tablet device, you can “blipp” a physical item when you see a Blippar symbol (e.g. on product packaging, or on a print/outdoor ad).  I’ve found that doing a “blipp” is a bit easier than interacting with a QR code (eConsultancy agrees).

Right now, it seems that mass consumer adoption is not quite there for branded, mobile AR experiences.  Even though several corporations have made a strong effort to test and learn with Blippar, wide swaths of everyday mobile consumers aren’t aware of the technology yet.  Heck, most folks still don’t know what a QR code is…

The tipping point is not far away, though.  The AR backbone is being built as we speak.  Tech infrastructure and consumer focused companies are hyper interested in a technology that can better enable point of sale purchases and deepen interactivity with advertising.

Brace yourselves and adjust your Google Glasses--we are getting ready to enter the age of WOW mobile AR experiences.






Photo via businessinsider