In Ready Player One the main villain wants to fill up to 80% of the users’ field of view with ads. While clearly an exaggeration, the question of how advertisers make money off of VR is still a major question. Once eye-tracking solutions become mainstream it will be possible to track user data at an even more granular level — such as what a user looks at inside of a VR app, and for how long — but until then we’ve got to figure out some workarounds. Luckily, mobile AR is a far less evolved platform.
Since users are still pointing their phones and gazing into smartphone screens to interact with the virtual world, there’s an accessible window to display ads and sell products right there. Snapchat debuted the ability for advertisers to purchase sponsored lenses and frames not long ago — so users would see official logos and brands in their selfies — but now they’re going even further.
In the example above, you can see a woman taking a selfie using a Candy Crush filter that now features a prominent “Install Now” button, enticing the user (and viewers) immediately download and play the game. Imagine a world where you can take a selfie with AR sunglasses sponsored by a major brand and then buy real-life versions of those sunglasses to be shipped to your house all without ever leaving your phone or app. It’s a powerful vehicle.
Where do you think this sort of technology will go next? Let us know what you think down in the comments below!