A Moving Message ... Literally

Augmented reality is an important step in making financial information meaningful and accessible to consumers.


The year 2012 is full of exciting tech possibilities. But as it turns out, we’re already living the future Hollywood had predicated in many ways.

We don’t have flying cars, yet, but the late tech guru Steve Jobs has achieved near deity status, alternate realities consume hundreds of hours of people’s lives, and we’re more concerned with a fast internet connection than with family, friends, or romance (see page 4 of this Cisco study).

However you feel about its increasing presence in our lives, the true goal of technology should be a world enhanced by these innovations, not replaced by it.

Maybe that’s why augmented reality, or AR, which uses a camera to overlay digital content on live images in real time, is so appealing.  It’s a powerful new way to merge the digital and the physical, opening up new ways of interacting with the world around us.

Current AR marketing campaigns are a bit gimmicky, but the technology holds great potential for companies looking to distinguish their brand and create new relationships from technology-based experiences.

Video Via Esquire.com

Researchers are even experimenting by incorporating AR into eyewear and contact lenses, making it as much a part of you as shoes on your feet or the wallet you grab off the dresser every morning.

Credit unions were already exploring the practical uses of AR as early as 2010, when First Tech Federal Credit Union (at the time Addison Avenue) unveiled a mobile ATM finder for on foot users. Simply hold a camera equipped Smartphone in front of your face and look through the viewer at the world around you. Then follow the overlaid digital markers to your destination.

ATM Finder App Screenshot

Image Via First Tech

Imagine the wealth of information and data credit unions posses that goes unnoticed or underutilized by consumers, with mailings that go straight in the trash or product rollouts that get ignored. How revolutionary would it be if financial info was broken down and presented in ways that were accessible on the go, actionable, and even stylish or beautiful?

PFM’s were just the start. Now imagine a mailing that, when viewed through your Smartphone or tablet camera, comes alive as a rep talks to you about a specific theme, product, or promotion? A credit card that shows a pop-up chart of how much of your spending limit you have left and what you’ve spent it on so far? How about a virtual billboard with interior views and pricing information for those who pass your REO properties?

These next generation marketing tools are already here. Financial institutions can harness AR’s power to assist in membership’s financial development, as well as make even the most technology resistant say (in the author’s best Keanu Reeves Impression) ... “Whoa.”


Jan. 4, 2012



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