Business network in the digital ageHead poncho over at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, headed to Bogota, Colombia last week to hold a Q&A session in which he was quizzed about how he sees Social Media developing in the future.

There were no major revelations, but Zuckerberg did pick up on the idea that augmented reality will have a major influence on the way we use the internet in the not-too-distant future. And that presents some very exciting opportunities for marketers.

In fact, Zuckerberg is so convinced that augmented reality is going to be the big money spinner, he purchased virtual technology firm, Oculus for a massive US$22bn last July. Oculus make gaming headsets that generate a virtual environment that is almost life-like thus giving the player the impression they are actually in the game.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is fundamentally software that enhances the user’s sense of reality. The Oculus Rift headset is by far the most advanced product developed from augmented reality, but the software can be found in most mobile handsets and other household appliances such as GPS and motion control TV’s.

Mobile technology already has a major role to play in online marketing campaigns, and we are also beginning to see the emergence of wearable tech – and augmented reality will be the driver behind the evolution of handheld devices to alternative technologies that allow you to communicate in a natural way.

This year Google is expected to develop technologies that allow devices to communicate. The infamous Google Glass is already on the market and the ability to control your mobile phone by using settings on your watch is not too far away. The technology may be crudely infant at present, but over the next five years will be workable for marketers.

Zuckerberg predicts that in 10-15 years, augmented reality will be THE major marketing platform – and if you can create an almost life-like experience for your customers, imagine what you can achieve!