Following recent investments in the machine-to-machine space, mobile advertising and in a fund to detect and finance new businesses, Spanish mobile phone operator Telefónica is now jumping into augmented reality business. Through its Telefónica Digital business, the company today announced a global partnership with Aurasma, a free augmented reality platform, which was developed by and is part of Hewlett-Packard’s Autonomy division.
Telefónica is looking to drive distribution of Aurasma’s technology across its footprint, starting initially in the United Kingdom through operator O2. Under terms of the deal, Telefónica will integrate Aurasma’s technology into the range of media services offered to brands and advertisers.
Under the terms of the partnership, Telefónica will integrate Aurasma into its media offering, enabling brands to benefit from augmented reality as part of their marketing campaigns. Telefónica will also seek to increase the distribution of Aurasma’s application through its mobile customer base and also implement augmented reality in its own marketing campaigns.
Across the globe, companies are looking to find ways to engage mobile phone customers to use augmented reality. Advertising companies, for instance, look to add this technology to the range of media they can use to reach audiences as the technology has potential to bring traditional media to life, transforming current static forms of advertising into interactive content unlocked by mobiles and tablets.
Although it is in its infancy, the technology is expected to influence almost every aspect of technological life, driving innovation within the gaming, medical, mobile, automotive and manufacturing markets. A recent report from Semico , “Augmented Reality: Envision a More Intelligent World”, forecasts that revenues related to this technology will approach $600 billion by 2016.
Shaun Gregory, global director of advertising at Telefónica Digital, noted that augmented reality has the potential to fundamentally change advertising, transforming current static formats and introducing new levels of interactivity.
Aurasma was launched in June 2011, and its technology recognizes images and objects, allowing interactive digital content such as videos, coupons, competitions and 3D animations to be unlocked from virtually any type of media, including outdoor billboards, print adverts, products, physical locations and in-store materials.
The company has attracted over 8,000 commercial partners to its platform and counts approximately four million downloads of its app.
Commenting on the partnership, Matt Mills, head of global partnerships at Aurasma, said that Telefónica has a deep understanding of the mobile ecosystem and so immediately grasped Aurasma’s potential to transform the way that people use their phones to engage with the world.