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Implementing Augmented Reality for creative events and conferences

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Both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are currently receiving high attention in the media and online gaming world. But what exactly is the difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality and how can this trend be integrated into the creative industry? In this article, I have summarised the important details about this trend and provided tips on how to incorporate AR into your event to leave a lasting impression on your participants.

What is the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

Augmented reality refers to the computer-aided expansion of real perception. This means that additional information about the environment or individual objects is displayed via a corresponding terminal. It is, therefore, an extension of reality. The big difference to Virtual Reality is that the reality is completely blown out and replaced by a new artificial and computer simulated world. The viewer experiences this both visually and acoustically and immerses completely in the new reality. In addition to a terminal, you also need other hardware components, such as VR glasses, helmets or gloves.

How can AR and VR be used for creative events and conferences?

With the aid of augmented or virtual reality, you can immerse your visitors in a new world and experience your themes in a whole new way. Here, however, the question arises: how do I do this best? Since Virtual Reality is still in its infancy and development phase, the basic equipment is costly, and the technology has not yet been fully-tested on all event types. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, can now be effectively applied to events.

I have elaborated some possible uses of AR at conferences and events:

Social Media

Social Walls 2.0 - with the help of augmented reality, you can display a virtual Social Wall. Which means that tweets, for example, no longer appear on a wall, but that every visitor via his terminal can see the tweets of other visitors in a kind of speech bubble next to the person that they can see.

Networking

Registered users can provide information about their position and their business so that they can be more easily found by others. Furthermore, you will not have to look at the badge of the visitors, but view through the camera on your mobile phone the entire audience and see which person could be interesting to meet with.

Print materials

Print materials, such as the floor plan of a trade fair with all exhibitors, can be replaced by augmented reality. The visitor is thus more quickly orientated and guided at the same time without getting lost. In addition to this, you can also display information and make documents directly available for download.

Facial Recognition Technology

Despite some of the negative or controversial aspects of this technology, as expressed in the media, this technology offers unique and innovative solutions for conferences and events.  Instead of having to search for information on a guest speaker at the event on a search engine, participants will be able to view all the information about published books, presentations, videos and speeches about a particular person simply by pointing their camera at them. Furthermore, this technology has been utilised in the security industry in numerous situations; perhaps it is only a matter of time until this technology is equally in mainstream use at all major public events. 

Augmented Reality therefore already offers you a variety of possibilities to make your event a special experience for your visitors. The subject of virtual reality and new technologies are hotly debated in the conferences and events industry, and it will certainly not be too long before Virtual Reality has found its place in events of all kinds.

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