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June 14, 2009

35 Awesome Augmented Reality Examples

If it wasn't for Twitter and social media as a whole grabbing all the headlines Augmented Reality would be the most talked about "technology" of 2008/2009.

While the roots of the technology have been around since as early as the 1990's (remember VR games!) it's only in the last 12 months has the interactive industry taken to it like moths to a flame. Below you will find some of the worlds biggest brands dipping their toe into "Augmented Reality". Some are in it for the PR aspect others trying to find a useful application. Many just to satisfy their need to do something new.

The technology has it's limitations though. Not only do you need a web cam but also a printer to activate it. Add to that one requires a download and installation of an application you cut your potential audience down considerably. That said I enjoy watching the videos and demos as much as interacting with it myself.

If you know of any interesting applications for AR please comment below. I know there is much more out there and my limited research was focused on the advertising and marketing side rather than the tech and art side.

Augmented Reality!? That's so 2008
Has AR jumped the shark? Well if Virtual Magicians are using it I think that's your answer. For me the best application of this is in store and also with kids toys. Both applications have far more useful applications than a fun web toy.

Below are 35 great examples of where Augmented Reality and their applications to the commercial and art world.

Correction Update: Apologies to Metaio who I incorrectly forgot to credit as the technology behind the Mini and Lego examples. This is why you don't post at 1am :)

I had not seen any arcade style games in AR before this. Fun and stupid and it was meant to be.

Agency: Poke London [UK]
View | More Info
GE Smart Grid
For such a dry subject this execution generated a lot of buzz.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners [US]

Assassins Creed 2 Teaser
Gamers love hidden codes and content and this was the first video game site to use AR.

Agency: Unknown

Earth Hour World in Your Hands
So the way to save the world is to print out useless paper?

Agency: Wunderman [AU]
Relapse 3D Art Comp
Turning the logo into an art canvas was nice idea. Too bad the entries in the comp are so shite.

Agency: Outside Line [UK]

Doritos Sweet Chili
Wow packaging with AR is already here. Doritos moved fast.

Living Sasquatch
It's a video editor with a 3D Sasquatch. Quite impressive and the video record feature is great.

Agency: Boffswana [AU]

Mini Germany Demo
This was the first big brand example I saw last year. Couldn't get it to work on my laptop :(

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Metaio
View | Case Study

Papas Road Trip Virtual Ride
Another brand with their packaging altered to have AR codes.

Agency: Unknown

Nissan Good Decision
The decision maker and then AR surprise at the end is nice.

Agency: Unknown

Ray-Ban Virtual Mirror
Probably the most practical application I've seen online. Too bad another download is needed

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Fitting Box [FR]
Topps Virtual Playing Cards
I wish this was around when I collected playing cards. The possibilities are endless.

Technology: Total Immersion

Night at the Museum 2 Comes to Life
Half promotion for the film half promotion for the news paper.

Agency: Soap [AU]
Technology: Total Immersion

USPS Priority Mail Box Simulator
A semi useful application of Augmented Reality.

Agency: AKQA [US]

Family Football Virtual Trophy

Agency: TBWA | Special Moves [UK]
View Note: Currently not on site

Experience the Enterprise
Paramount went all out on this execution for Star Trek.

Agency: Unknown
Technology: Total Immersion

Join Star Fleet Academy
Another Star Trek augmented reality promo.

Agency: Unknown
McDonalds Dippers Game
Agency: Unknown
ADIDAS Virtual Avatar
Agency: Unknown
Technology: Total Immersion
Lego Store at Disney Land
This must blow kid's minds and parent's wallets.

Technology: Metaio
View | PR
Eye of Judgment for PS3
Consoles are also getting in on the action.

Nissan Cube
Agency: Unknown
Fanta Games
Fanta pushing the mobile aspect of the technology.

Agency: Ogilvy
View | More Info
BMW Z4 in 3D
I love the real life montage of the car. Takes this to a new level of fun.

Agency: Dare [UK]
View | More Info
Toyota IQ Reality
Agency: Unknown
BMW Factory R&D
Not just brands.

Artists, tech heads and musicians are getting into Augmented Reality as well. Here's some non branded examples.
Virtual Drumkit
Looking for this to be re-skinned for a brand soon

By: Squidder
Augmented Reality T-Shirts + Twitter
Status= "I'm wearing a Twitter shirt!"

By: Squidder
Augmented Reality Mobile Game: Catapult
I want this now!

By: Unknown
Level heads
This looks like a lot of fun

Agency: Julian Oliver
Augmented Reality Card Trick
By: Virtual Magician

Julian Perretta's 3d video for "Ride My Star" music video

Agency: Unknown

The Artvertiser
I love how anti-advertising the art world is.

Arhrrrrrr Zombie Game (look for the Skittles integration!)
I missed this at GDC. Looks fantastic.

By: GVU Center's Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, in collaboration with SCAD-Atlanta
Augmented Reality Snow Flakes
Agencies jumped in for the 2008 Xmas card rush

Agency: Tellart
Special Moves Xmas
Agency: Special Movies [UK]
View Thanks Iain for the video

McCaan Funky Natal
Agency: McCaan [BR]
View | More Info
Scope Augmented Reality Toys
There isnt a toy executive alive that woulnd't get excited by this.

By: Frantz Lasorne
More Info


There are two main ways to achieve Augmented Reality in a browser.

1: Dedicated Plugin:

- Total Immersion:This French company has been the leader in the Augmented Reality field for commercial use. If you are after the best qality 3D this is the one to go with.

Link: Official Site

- Metaio: This German based company is big competitor to Total Immersion and has been behind some of the latest campaigns for Mini and Lego.

Link: Official Site

Pros: Higher quality 3D
Cons: Costly licence fee, no community, single vendor, custom code language, large file size, new plugin required

2: Flash: Can be integrated into any flash site and works with Flash 8+
No plugin, small file size, open source, community, flash is a common skill
Lower quality 3D

There is also various other technologies which could be used but all have limited web capabilities.

Many universities have Augmented Reality research labs and I think we'll start to see this technology get more mature over the next few years as commercial applications for it start to materialize.

More Reading

I got most of the examples and more info from the following sites/articles.
Yotube Search

There are also two blogs dedicated to AR which have even more examples

If you have any other good examples of branded and unbranded Augmented Reality please submit them to us at submit [at]

I can't mention augmented reality without showing this video.

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