Augmented Reality [AR] remained a fantasy for many years after being shown in several science fiction movies. The principle of augmented reality allowed viewers to get enthralled by an alternate realm that was super-imposed over the real world and was only confined to cinema screens until now.
The arrival of Google Glass has transformed Augmented Reality into actual reality and Nokia too is working towards providing such an experience to future users. If you have not yet understood how Augmented Reality works then it is roughly the same as watching Google Street View where related digital information appears in a layered manner over actual streets.
Google Glass has basically used that technology and upgraded it to enable viewers to actually wear the device and receive the desired information. Future AR features may well include graphics or video on a real-time basis that could help users find a location, make a purchase decision, or get more information about their surroundings.
Over time, Augmented Reality technology has evolved and filtered through for everyday use to some extent and apps including Wikitude, Junaio, and Layar began incorporating this feature. GE too jumped on to the bandwagon with its desktop AR technology in the form of Windmills. However, mobile phones seem to hold the most promise of incorporating AR technology with Apple and Nokia already moving to patent this technology for implementation in their operating systems.
While the present implementation of Augmented Reality is already in small devices such as mobiles and the Google Glass, the future of AR could well be in contact lenses or in implanted retinas too. There are 2 basic types of AR that could play an important role in devices. The first is an AR based on Markers that may be any geographical location since the device would need to get its precise geo-location before it may be able to provide that wonderful AR experience to the user.
The second type may be a Marker-less AR that could be triggered initially by geo-location, but in addition may require input of additional information such as a user query or other parameters based on personalization such as that offered by Google Now.
The AR based on Markers will obviously focus on the upper end of funnel brand advertising. For instance, if a user were to focus on a specific car model, he or she would be able to view video ads for that car or focusing on a retail store could display special offers available for that store.
However, in the case of Marker-less AR based on location, matters could get confusing as a lot more information will be needed from users before results could get displayed. Currently AR features are directly offered by brands such as Yelp, etc., or through apps that are in joint-partnerships with other third-party brands. On the other hand, the arrival of Google Glass has increased confusion levels to a great extent.
Several search engines including Goggle will begin crawling and indexing your website content in order to display AR content to increasing number of users in the future. Your SEO techniques will certainly need an overhaul to make sure that your site achieves high ranking and visibility in this new form of search.
While specific SEO techniques will evolve along with progress of AR technology, here are a few basics that should remain relevant in coming times.
You will definitely need to optimize your Google+ Local listings since search engines such as Google will certainly lift a lot of data from here based on geo-location and local images. In addition, you will also need to insert recent and optimized content about your location at regular intervals to ensure improved rankings during AR searches.
Since AR results based on Markers will be mostly based on images such as buildings, brands, packaging, and other forms of physical images, you will need to optimize all your images. Your alt-tags, descriptions, images of your products, and location too along with site maps will gain a lot of importance as AR based searches increase in future.
New apps may also enter the market that allow tagging of physical locations on a real-time basis and which could be shared with other users, which in turn may well take social engagement to another level. For instance, a user may be able to view the inside of a hotel room just before actually checking into the hotel or read reviews about a product held in the hand before actually buying it.
While this information is available at present, it is not easy to collect it from several sources within an instant. However, future Augmented Reality technology may well provide all this information at the blink of an eye, or two. Another piece of science fiction is on the verge of turning into reality with AR and SEO will certainly need to keep up with Augmented Reality in coming times.