Augmented Reality labelled as "overhyped" by Volvo's head mobile marketer

Augmented reality is “overrated” and “overhyped”, according to Volvo’s head mobile marketer.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion at Apps World on building a mobile marketing app and content strategies, Mikael Karlsson, mobile marketing manager for Volvo described AR as “a gimmick”.

He elaborated; “Augmented reality per se has so far been used as a marketing gimmick, adding that he believed it was the long term use of the technology would be to integrate it into cars, alluding to an augmented reality app experience used by the brand earlier this year.

“I’m not a big fan of AR. It’s a great installation within retail stores,” he added, before adding that it would mean the need for high end technical support in order to do that.

“We’re using it within iPads and iPhones, which are not technically able to support it through the software and the hardware to create a high level of experience. I don’t think we’re there yet,” explained Karlsson.

His view was argued by fellow panellists Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar and Jane Linton, business director of Imano, who argued that the technology was able to create ‘a magic moment’ for consumers and create a bond with the brand in doing so.

Karlsson added that the need to use QR codes in order to implement AR and described the technology of the X-ray app presented in Geneva to scan the new Volvo V40 as “not great” but it created a “great experience” within a controlled environment.

“What you don’t see in the video is that we needed a 60 by 60 QR code standing in front of the car and you needed to stand about five meters away in order to get that information. So when everything fits and the lighting is perfect, then it works. But using it at night, you would not have been able to get the recognition," he continued.

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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