Marketers and advertisers today might either be relieved or dismayed to find out that there are two relatively new terms they should get friendly with – visual search and augmented reality.


Visual search refers to image recognition technology that allows the user to find out more about a certain photographed item, among other things.

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Visual search, augmented reality: The next frontier for brands


Augmented reality (AR) is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” as defined by the Oxford Dictionary.

The two often go hand in hand.


“In today’s gadget-cluttered world, one key aspect in ensuring the success of new consumer-facing technologies is the seamless integration of such functions into their digital lives,” says Niamh Byrne, COO, iQNECT.


The technology company uses visual search and augmented reality to help brands interact with their fans.

She explains that visual search has seen a quicker adoption rate amongst marketing campaigns in Asia, and that both publishers and advertisers have shown great interest in visual search’s ability to connect the offline and online content of brands as well as m-commerce capabilities.


For example, with iQNECT’s ‘point-snap-pay’ feature, consumers can be brought instantly from the advertisements of products they are interested in to virtual checkout counters to buy said items.

There are also many other campaigns, including one organised by Singapore Post, the country’s national postal carrier, where stamps with augmented reality features were launched, and an augmented reality bus shelter campaign for HSBC in Hong Kong.


There is also an international park dedicated to augmented reality and the companies that use the technology in Xi’an China.

“However, when it comes to the advertising industry in Asia, augmented reality is a surprisingly nascent technology, with the advertising campaigns that have taken advantage of AR so far being fairly experimental in nature,” says Byrne.

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