Aurasma vs. Blippar

I’ve written about Augmented Reality extensively in the past, but since the days of immersing myself in the purely theoretical potential for the medium, a few key players have rooted themselves in a very commercial reality that is now powering the fledgling industry.

And while B2B-focused vendors such as ViewAR remain behind the scenes, the likes of Aurasma and Blippar have soared in notoriety thanks to some quite excellent packaging and an impressive sales proposition. They are the standard bearers, at least in the eyes of the public.

I like Aurasma. But I also like Blippar. So which is better? Well, let’s find out… Here are some provocations I’ve been toying around with. See if it helps you decide, and let me know which side you fall on in the comments.

[twocol_one][dropcap]A[/dropcap]urasma has more technological power behind it. They have (supposedly) incorporated academic research into their proprietary tech and have a heritage in pattern recognition systems – remember their core business though: integrating with business critical processes and then slowly ramping up prices. They do this across all other Autonomy products! Also consider they are an HP property, whose business is hardware, not software. I believe Aurasma are only using this period of their lifespan to learn what does and doesn’t work, get better at it, gain status, equip users to enjoy AR, and then develop a mobile chipset (literally, hardware optimised for AR) that can be embedded in mobile devices, making HP buckets of royalties. They are chasing install base, but not because they want advertising bucks: they want to whitelabel their tech (i.e. Tesco, Heat & GQ) and then disappear into the background.[/twocol_one]

[twocol_one_last][dropcap]B[/dropcap]lippar have a proprietary AR engine, but are listed as using Qualcomm’s Vuforia engine – which is free to use. They seem focused on innovations in the augmented layer. Reading their interviews, they speak of AR not as a tech, platform or medium, but as a kind of magic campaign juice: stuff that reveals they are extremely focused on delivering a good consumer experience paid for by advertisers, with them as connective tissue. To this end, they too are chasing install base, but ultimately they have a different goal in mind. Being Qualcomm-backed, their future is in flexing their creative muscles and helping make AR a mass market medium through normalising behaviour. Big rivals: Aurasma in the short term, but I imagine that one day, Aurasma will revert back to being a tech platform, and companies like Blippar will provide the surface experience: where good content, not tech, will be what sells.[/twocol_one_last]

So what do you reckon – A or B?

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Tom Saunter

I like to think about the media, technology, pop-culture & the future. When not blogging, I tweet @freedimensional & work @MediaComUK. Feel free to visit my Personal Bio to learn more about me.

  • Malcom Armstrong

    Both are great movments in user controlled content and AR. The developments over the next versions should see a great advancement in this type of interactivity.

  • AR Watcher

    Isn`t Aurasma free at the moment? The article seems a little biased and unresearched.

    • It is free to the end user, but then I don’t say that it isn’t.

  • John

    I agree with AR watcher, the article is both biased and unresearched. Aurasma is free for both users and partners.

    The author was right in saying Aurasma is building up to something bigger but was wildly off on what this is!

    Aurasma was conceived as a new form of internet, a visual search engine that allows people to interact with the world around them in an immersive manner. It can recognise millions of images as opposed to Blippars 50 or so.

    Everybody can create their own content whether on their device or using the free web interface. This is why there is a huge difference between HEAT/Tesco etc and teachers making content for the classroom.

    Aurasma is a social movement for consumers, Blippar is an advertising tool for companies.

    Aurasma cannot revert back to being a technology platform because it is a technology platform..

    In a conclusion to this rant, HP software is the largest division of HP.

    • An excellent contribution, and exactly the kind of input I was hoping to attract with this piece – which is clearly defined as a provocation, and quite patently a set of beliefs, not facts!

      Out of interest, do you have any examples of Aurasma’s use in the classroom?

      • John

        There is one I saw a little while ago.

        There are networks of teachers forming creating and sharing things they’ve created.

  • Areal

    I think you should look at Adstuck’s Areal Browser as well for Augmented Reality. Amazing in terms of platform support and its very fast.

    Areal is there on Windows,IOS, Android, BB, JAVA and Symbian

  • Tom Wood

    Neither! Browsers have come and gone in markets more advanced in AR (Japan’s ScanIT is a great example of this). Whilst wonderful for educating the mass market on what AR might be – hijacking brands by insisting co-branding or use of a single browser Apps is giving AR a bad name. At Kudan Augmented Reality, we believe the key are appropriate AR experiences, integrated into existing apps where there is a genuine use case – bringing products into context within a users world – not just showing movies on print!

  • Gin

    Aurasma is so so bad in customer services, I’m trying for a month to get a price for there kernel app and still didn’t get it. Last email that I worte was 12 days ago and still waiting!!!!

    • Try Adstuck’s Areal…they are awesome in customer service and activation capacity

      • Gin

        Can you edit your ar alone like in aurasma? With out beeing a developer ?

  • Esselsie

    HP s business is hardware not software ?! Yes, hardware is the largest proportion of what HP do, but HP are the 6th largest software company!!

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