Telefónica partners Aurasma to bolster O2 with augmented reality

O2 is to offer advertisers augmented reality (AR) services through a partnership between its parent company Telefónica and AR provider Aurasma.

Shaun Gregory: global director of advertising, Telefónica Digital
Shaun Gregory: global director of advertising, Telefónica Digital

Telefónica Digital, the global digital division of Telefónica, claims the partnership with HP-owned Aurasma is the "biggest deal ever" in the AR industry with the scope to reach 25 markets and 300 million customers.

Several brands have used Aurasma in their marketing, including Tesco, Budweiser, and Uniqlo, but take-up may have been limited by the need for people to download Aurasma's app before they are able to access augmented reality content.

Aurasma’s technology will be integrated into the services Telefónica offers advertisers and will launch initially in the UK through the O2 telecoms brand.

O2 will attempt to lure more advertisers to its platform by offering them a more interactive experience through augmented reality technology, which allows digital content including video, coupons, competitions and 3D animations to be unlocked from media including billboards, print ads and in-store materials.

Telefónica will initially encourage its customers to download the Aurasma app, while the long-term plan is to dispose of the need for an app by integrating Aurasma technology into O2 phones.

The augmented reality technology will be offered to brands through O2 Media and will sit alongside existing O2 services including location-based marketing and mobile coupons.

Telefónica claims it will introduce new innovations around augmented reality and mobile into the UK market through the partnership with Aurasma and the technology will also be integrated into upcoming O2 marketing campaigns.

Shaun Gregory, global director of advertising at Telefónica Digital, said: "Augmented reality has the potential to fundamentally change advertising, transforming current static formats and introducing new levels of interactivity."

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