HP Showcases How AR Replaces Search @SXSW

Hewlett-Packard's Autonomy division Monday will make it easier for brands and agencies to build augmented reality experiences, segment and target content by audience, and drive deeper integration with social media networks with the update release of Aurasma 3.0, the company's AR platform. HP will showcase the platform with more than 100 demos at South by Southwest (SXSW).

In the past few years Aurasma has attracted more than 40,000 customers to the platform to build AR experiences, doubling in the past six months. The version updates the platform's cloud-based Web portal, and adds a targeted rules engine to manage customer segments and augmented-realty experiences HP calls "auras" based on geography. It also offers deeper social integration, so consumers can share experiences on Facebook and Twitter, and a software development kit (SDK).

Aurasma GM Annie Weinberger said Elizabeth Arden, which works with Taylor Swift, is conducting a full social scavenger hunt that changes daily triggered off the packaging. She is on her third campaign plan with Aurasma, she explains, comparing AR to visual search. "AR does a great job connecting the physical world with the digital world."

Weinberger believes the augmented reality experience will become the new URL, replacing the 10 blue links the search industry has lived with for years. It will become an expected behavior where people no longer use search boxes to find information.

At SXSW, HP this week will showcase experiences on Google Glass. Weinberger said that opening a browser on the phone to access a search engine, which returns text, will become an action of the past as more people use a mobile phone or wearable glasses to point and capture an object to get more information through augmented reality.

The upgrades to the platform reduce the time it takes to create an augmented reality experience. What once took about two minutes for a brand new user to log in and create an experience now takes 30 seconds. Aside from Elizabeth Arden, AMC Theaters and Office Depot are two of the many companies working with the HP startup.

"Virtual Reality" photo from Shutterstock.

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