HP Launches AR Platform, Tracks Print Ads Digitally

Hewlett-Packard's Autonomy division has been working to build out an augmented reality (AR) offering it calls Aurasma and has developed a way to track print ads digitally. The platform supports more than 20,000 global customers and 6 million active monthly users since its launch in June 2011. The goal is to compete in the market against Apple, Google, Qualcomm and others.

Brands like rocker Bon Jovi, and companies like DreamWorks, GQ, Marvel, Subaru and USPS, use Aurasma in an effort to increase revenue and mobile customer engagement. Omni Hotels revamped a campaign created by AvreaFoster and planned and executed by Southwest Media Group.

Most recently, GQ lit up an entire magazine, cover to cover pushing it across 138 advertisers to garner an average click-through rate of more than 14%. It allowed them to digitally track printed campaigns, according to Annie Weinberger, GM at Aurasma. The analytics dashboard tracks click-throughs to Web content, product pages and more.

The increase of mobile campaigns and AR technology will enable the print ad industry to digitally track interactions and allow brands to more easily and accurately build the media into attribution strategies.

Weinberger said mobile adoption continues to drive growth and the ability to track print campaigns digitally. In the past six months, Aurasma has seen about 200% growth in active users, and 225% in monthly views across the board.

People use their phone to link the physical experience with online, turning what Weinberger calls the "Aura" or experience. "It automates the search step with visual recognition," she said.

Aside from brands, teachers have been stepping up their use of AR to assist in lesson plans to educate students. It gives kids an incentive to learn through interactive instruction, according to Weinberger.

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