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Pokemon Go uses augmented reality to “catch” Pokemon in real-world places.

This week has been exciting in that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the F8 developer conference that we will see more platforms and apps using augmented reality, especially on Facebook and Instagram. This is a further testament to how marketing is moving into the digital landscape and isn’t looking back.

What is augmented reality? It’s the overlay of information onto the real world, allowing users to see virtual items or information while looking at real things. It combines the virtual world and the real world into one.

With augmented reality, Mark Zuckerberg envisions “a world in which people could eventually point smartphone cameras at a bowl of cereal and have an app create tiny sharks swimming in the milk. Friends can leave virtual notes for one another on the walls outside their favorite restaurants, noting which menu item is the most delicious.” 

Snapchat is one of the earliest examples of augmented reality. Users interact with effects and animations on preexisting pictures and videos of the real world. Facebook’s new Camera Effects Platform is similar to Snapchat and adds filters and frames as an overlay on top of a picture, video, or Facebook Live post.

Pokemon Go, another example, uses GPS to mark your location, and move your avatar while your smartphone camera “captures” Pokemon using real world video and images. 

How does augmented reality affect us as marketers? Now is the time to get even more creative by thinking of ways your brand can leverage this new virtual world. Marketing influencer Jay Baer explains that augmented reality can lure people to your place of business, as we’ve seen with Pokemon Go, and can promote products and events with filters.

Many experts also predict that augmented reality is the future in terms of convenience. For instance, if you’re redecorating your home, you can use augmented reality to place furniture and home décor items in your bare room to see what it will look like before purchasing items.

Right now, Facebook’s augmented reality camera is in the development phase, but it will soon be available to all users through a simple system update.

No matter which industry you’re in, augmented reality is the technology of the future and will be a new way to market your brand, product, or service. It will be interesting to see how this new tool will drive new marketing strategies and tactics.