Chasing AR from behind

By | July 29, 2016

The other day, I had a conversation with MJ Anderson, CMO of Trekk, one of the companies on the forefront of mobile technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with a focus on how they drive the world of print. A lot happened in that conversation, but there is one point I’d like to bring out here.

When we look at the AR applications in the marketplace, it’s kind of like looking at the stars. What we see is the result of something that happened long ago, and what we are seeing is an image of yesterday. The AR we see on the retail shelves, for example, was created by agencies and production houses six months ago. In the world of mobile, that’s an eternity.

When I talk to MJ about the projects Trekk is working on, it’s far different than many of the gimmicky applications we see being produced by marketers right now. These are real solutions to real business problems. They just don’t make it into the trade press because they create competitive advantage and, like the early days of 1:1 printing, their clients often don’t want to talk about them.

This creates a challenge for printers, MSPs, and marketers trying to figure out where to take their clients and customers. What we read about new technology is often visionary and may or may not come to pass. But in the world of mobile, when we read about what has already been done, what’s possible is already beyond that.

What to do? Keep up with the commentary, the case studies, and the articles in business magazines. Then pair that with real conversations with the real people on the forefront of creating these applications. Let them tell you want they are doing now and what will show up on the shelves tomorrow.

In the next day or two, I’ll write about some of the applications MJ sees as representative of the current state of AR that printers, marketers, and MSPs need to be aware of.  Stay tuned.

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