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Put Down the Pen and Paper: How Augmented Reality is Impacting Storytelling

This post was first published by Laurie Davis on Interprose’s blog, Interprose Voice.

Once upon a time in a kingdom under the sea, there was a spirited, redheaded mermaid who longed to go ashore and meet the man of her dreams. I bet most of you know what story I’m talking about. Disney’s The Little Mermaid was one of my favorites growing up.

We gravitate to stories from a young age and it never really ends; everyone likes a good story. It’s how we connect, share, and proliferate ideas. A story is impactful.

It is a well-known fact that storytelling is at the heart of public relations and marketing. We always want to make our messages relatable, memorable, and purposeful – all things that characterize a good story.

Recently, I came across an interesting Engadget article about how virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) is impacting the world of storytelling. Longtime animator for Disney, Glen Keane has ventured into the world of VR illustrating. Keane is able to draw in VR, creating life-sized versions of beloved Disney characters. Rather than being constrained to a static page, he’s now able to engage with his art, walking around his characters as if they were standing right in front of him. That’s just straight up cool.

So, this got me thinking – if VR or AR can have this much of an impact on illustration, what other ways can it impact storytelling? AR has the potential to make our messages more realistic and present, giving us a chance to really engage our audiences at a level never done before through traditional media. As the technology continues to advance, we would be foolish to think it will not impact how we as PR and marketing professionals deliver our messages and content.

Now is the time to do some research and learn about the current and upcoming AR technologies that can help spread your message. Beyond storytelling and animation, we’re now starting to see AR and VR pop up in unexpected places like healthcare. For example, Vipaar, a video support solution takes telemedicine to the next level by allowing a remote surgeon to project his hands into the display of a surgeon wearing Google Glass to point and guide.

And healthcare is not the only place seeing AR. The Natural History Museum has an app that allows visitors to run it over the dinosaur exhibits to see what it would have looked like when the dinosaur was alive. Even magic tricks and practical jokes utilize AR to bring their stunts to life tricking friends and entertaining audiences. So, as you can see AR is making a splash in many different industries. We’re also seeing AR and VR being addressed on a larger scale, with proposed standards from global standards development organizations, evangelism organizations, and events committed to making the world of AR and VR a reality.

I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I know something is starting right now. So, get ready! It won’t be long before we see AR and VR as a part of our world, impacting our daily jobs as PR and marketing professionals.

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