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Telefónica and Aurasma join forces to drive augmented reality into mobile advertising, coupons and commerce

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Telefónica Digital has forme a global partnership with Aurasma, a leading augmented reality platform – and sponsor of Spurs football club – that will see the carrier integrate Aurasma’s cutting-edge technology into the range of media services Telefónica offers brands and advertisers.

The agreement, made by Telefónica Digital’s global advertising team, represents the biggest deal between a global telecoms company and an augmented reality provider to date and will see Telefónica drive distribution of Aurasma’s technology across its footprint, starting initially with the UK through O2.

Augmented reality (AR) is already bringing traditional media to life, transforming current static forms of advertising into interactive content unlocked by mobiles and tablets. Analysts predict the total AR market will be worth $600 billion by 2016.

Aurasma’s innovative technology recognises images and objects, allowing interactive digital content such as videos, coupons, competitions and 3D animations to be unlocked from virtually any type of media, including outdoor billboards, print adverts, products, physical locations and in-store materials. Since launch in June 2011, the company has already attracted over 8,000 commercial partners to its platform and reached more than four million downloads of its app.

Under the terms of the partnership, Telefónica will integrate Aurasma into its media offering, enabling brands to benefit from augmented reality as part of their marketing campaigns. The capability will be offered alongside other technologies including location-based marketing and mobile coupons, with Telefónica helping brands to introduce new levels of interactivity and customer engagement into their advertising campaigns.

Telefónica will also seek to increase the distribution of Aurasma’s app through its mobile customer base and also implement augmented reality in its own marketing campaigns.

The partnership will initially be rolled out in the UK through O2 and offered to brands through O2 Media. The two companies will work together to introduce new innovations around augmented reality and mobile into the UK market. The capability will be rolled out to other Telefónica markets in due course.

“Augmented reality has the potential to fundamentally change advertising, transforming current static formats and introducing new levels of interactivity,” says Shaun Gregory, Global Director of Advertising at Telefónica Digital. “Aurasma is the undoubted leader in this space with a uniquely scalable platform approach and best in class image recognition technology. It has already demonstrated the power of its technology in thousands of innovative campaigns across the world and we look forward to working with them to further drive the use of this technology in advertising and marketing communications.”

Matt Mills, Head of Global Partnerships at Aurasma adds: “We are delighted to be working with Telefónica – one of the world’s largest and most innovative telecoms companies. Telefónica has a deep understanding of the whole mobile ecosystem and so immediately grasped Aurasma’s potential to transform the way that people use their phones to engage with the world. We look forward to working with the Telefónica Digital team to bring this transformation to the thousands of brands who advertise through their media services and over 300 million Telefónica customers.”

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