Augmented Reality: Blippar vs. HoloLens

Since the late nineties Augmented Reality (AR) was tested and developed for specific purposed (i.e. military use). Various companies already launched their AR/VR device. But what is AR in fact? AR combines real world objects with virtual computer-generated objects. Together, they form a supplemented real world environment (Azuma, 2013).

We focused on two different applications of AR in the form of the app Blippar and the Microsoft HoloLens. Below is briefly explained how AR is applied in these two products. Blippar makes use of Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR). MAR uses the same principles as AR: it provides an experience to the customer that combines both real world as artificial aspects (Höllerer & Feiner, 2004). Hence, it does not create a complete artificial world, but rather uses the real world in real-time as its user interface (UI) whilst integrating layers of information. The Microsoft HoloLens is a device to enter the AR world. The HoloLens is in the form of goggle-like glasses.While with MAR users experience AR from a device in a selected area of their environment, with a wearable AR (WAR) device users experience AR in their entire surroundings.

A comparison of the two models resulted in several similarities between the two models, but also significant differences. While Blippar is potentially disrupting the well-established advertising industry with is AR app, Microsoft is competing with other tech giants to conquer the newly developing wearables market using its HoloLens. However, both models are heavily dependent on network effects. The more people are using Blippar, the higher the incentive for businesses is to advertise using their AR app. The HoloLens, on the other hand, is dependent on the input of app-developers on their platform and the customer base in order to attract app developersa. The more people are using the HoloLens, the more likely it is that new apps are developed for the device. In turn, this attracts additional customers.

If the Hololens can overcome future threats such as privacy issues and substitutes, and the usage of wearables will be adopted by the mass market, it might capitalize on the advantages the device can offer. However, before the mass market will adopt the HoloLens, it will probably be used by business first for more specific tasks.  Blippar, on the other hand, is expected to move its app to the wearables market as well. Instead of focussing solely on the advertisement market,  it wants to become the “first true AR search engine” (Blippar, 2015). Although they have invested in WaveOptics, an augmented reality display pioneer, the option remains that they will be acquired by one of the established tech giants. However, for their mobile application, internal weaknesses and external threats inherent to smartphone use must be overcome first. Foremost, increasing data-use and the battery drain of smartphones halt widespread use.

Do you think the HoloLens is able to avoid the faith of the Google-Glass and that Blippar can be the new AR Google?


Azuma, R., Baillot, Y., Behringer, R., Feiner, S., Julier, S.,  MacIntyre, B., “Recent Advances in Augmented Reality”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol.21, no. 6, pp. 34-47, November/December 2001, doi:10.1109/38.963459

Höllerer, T., & Feiner, S. (2004, Januari). Mobile Augmented Reality. Retrieved September 10, 2015, from

Blippar. (2015, 9 9). Retrieved 9 10, 2015, from blippar:

SID’s: 358545sb, 356175jh, 345222lh, 363966lk, 341304lr


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