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What Esquire’s Augmented Reality Magazine Could Mean For Events

Esquire magazine did something really cool and innovative! They turned their paper magazine into an interactive experience with augmented reality. While the idea is novel – I like how they gave readers several interactive experiences.

Here is how it works: First, you need Esquire magazine. Then, download some software from Esquire’s site. After, you point your magazine at your webcam the screen changes. As you move the magazine around the screen changes. OR Watch this video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What Does This Mean For Events?

Truthfully – probably not much right now. However, that didn’t stop me from coming up with a few ideas!

The first thing that came to mind was combining this technology with brochures to create interactive experiences that would work at tradeshow kiosks, small events and on the prospect’s computer. It brings your brochure to life, your brand to life and creates a reason for people to keep your marketing materials.  Also, it gives you one digital marketing tool that can be used in several customer/prospect encounters.

Another possibility that I saw was in real time segmentation and lead qualification. Think about this:  a person picks up your brochure, goes to the interactive kiosk at your booth and holds up the pages with the features/benefits that are important to him.  Then, he sees some content that is relevant to his needs. When he is done, there is a place for him to answer a few questions, enter his contact information and take the next step in your marketing/sales process. If you do it right – he could end up with an email on his smart phone asking him to meet with a company representative later that day.

Bottom Line

This is a fun technology that we are going to see start popping up in more places. For now – it is probably just something cool. Expect the technology to become more sophisticated and cheaper as more people start to use it.

What do you think? Any other ideas?

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks to @Digital_chuck on twitter here is another idea for you: Digital Slot Machine. It looks like Nike has been using this at their events already:

    From a quick read through of the site – they gave attendees scratch-off cards that they put in-front of the computer screen. Then a 3D slot machine appears – similar to the magazine above. The slot machine starts its slot machine magic. If the card is a winner – the slot machine lights up and makes sounds, etc.

    I love it! thanks @digital_chuck

    – Sam

    November 13, 2009
  2. Samuel, you are right on the money with finding practical solutions for this technology.
    As I am oft to repeat…technology is just a toy until it fulfills a need. And right now Esquire is just showing me a toy, of which I already have too many!

    November 13, 2009
  3. Thanks so much for pointing this out Samuel. When I read this I thought just what Midori said. So many toys…

    But then my mind raced to selling this and the budgets and the dreaded ROI factor. Then I had a anurism and fell on the floor. (my creative process)

    In my world of mostly internal sales meetings and corporate meetings I could see using this technology to create entertaining and educational sessions. Making a finance or compliance session entertaining instead of giant snooze fest. Maybe the pieces could reflect on, be a game, a changing take away to enhance the meeting before, during and after to keep the education, and motivation coming long after the event. That would be a cause for ROI and more bang for your buck…..

    Very cool stuff… Do I have to buy the magazine to see this first hand? Thanks again for pointing this out really neat stuff!

    Your friend


    December 15, 2009
  4. Ok this stuff is just too cool… Samuel thanks for pointing out this new technology!

    As Midori said, it is just a toy right now, but what a cool toy.

    Just think what Playboy magazine could do with this 🙂

    Seriously, I see some pretty cool applications to this augmented reality concept in the events business too. How bout the “conference daily news” being delivered to you via your computer interactively.

    Or, an archive of a presentation you weren’t able to attend…

    The possibilities are endless…..

    Thanks for sharing this and it will be exciting to ponder what might come next.


    December 19, 2009
  5. Hi Mike McAllen,

    Thanks for your comment.

    This technology is cutting edge. I think that the first event applications will be found in the B2C and B2B space. I think that they will be driven by marketing – not the finance organization. See the Nike example in the first comment above.

    Based on my experience, most internal events will be better off investing in technology solutions that tap into the ideas and insights of the attendees.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    – Sam

    Hi Mike McCurry,

    I had not thought about using it to access the archived material or the daily news. This solution could become part of the virtual attendee’s value proposition in hybrid events. Cool idea!

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Sam

    December 21, 2009
  6. lot’s of ideas coming to mind… will share them as soon as I manage to take them out on my head 🙂

    we did some of this stuff during PICNIC using RFID tags and QRcode-like things but it was just a shy start.

    It would be great if instead of having a standard brochure in hand attendees could use their kindle-esque ebooks or their mobiles for launching the AR app… less paper, more interaction!

    I wish you a great 2010, full of innovative conferences…

    December 31, 2009

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