Augmented reality is coming to banner ads


Augmented reality has been in stasis for the last couple of years, with app developers and gadget-makers still figuring out a mainstream use-case to trump the Pokémon GO phenomenon. London-based startup Blippar thinks the answer lies in advertising.

It’s been working with several automotive brands to launch mobile banner ads with augmented reality built into them. In one demonstration seen by Forbes, a smartphone user taps a banner ad which then swaps their screen out for an image of the inside of the car. The user can then move their phone around to see different parts of the car's interior. If they give it permission to access their camera, they can see their real-life surroundings through the virtual windshield and windows of the car too.

“This is the industry’s first augmented-reality digital ad unit,” says Danny Lopez, chief operations officer at Blippar, and says this is about giving digital display advertising a “new lease of life.” Blippar says a major car manufacturer will start showing augmented reality ads using Blippar's software this month.