At its December 27, 2011 gathering, the Augmented Reality New York (ARNY) Meetup presented a video I had recorded for the event. The video was a summary of the FTC Complaint filed this Fall against PepsiCo and Frito-Lay, alleging that their AR marketing campaign for the Doritos Late Night brand amounted to “deceptive marketing” that confuses “vulnerable” teenage minds. I also shared my thoughts for the how AR entrepreneurs and the industry as a whole should respond to these allegations.
After the pre-recorded portion, I had an engaging Q&A conversation with the attendees via Skype. We touched on issues of copyright, trademark, deceptive marketing, digital property rights, and more. I also heard from them the story of an AR business proposal that had been turned down by a potential client who was nervous about using this new, poorly understood technology–exactly the scenario I posed in my video.
As I emphasize in my video, I truly believe that the entire AR industry is at a crossroads. This is the moment when the business community and the general public are forming their first impressions of augmented reality technology–and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Will that impression be that AR is “deceptive,” manipulative, and untrustworthy? Or–as the burgeoning AR community argues–an inevitable and empowering tool that could help revolutionize virtually every aspect of business and daily life?
Many thanks to Ori Inbar (of the exciting AR gaming company Ogmento) for inviting me to participate in the ARNY meetup. Other AR groups are welcome to show my video, and I’d be happy to Skype into your meetings as well.
Happy New Year!