Saga Travel is using augmented reality technology in its brochures to give consumers the ability to virtually visit some of the firm's destinations without leaving their arm chair.

The technology, which has been provided by Aurasma, utilises an app that can be downloaded onto Apple iPhones and devices running Google Android. Consumers can then simply scan their handset over the pages in the brochure, and the app will recognise specific images, symbols and objects and subsequently overlay video, audio, animations and web pages on the pages of the brochure. As the technology recognises items in the brochure, there is no need for QR codes or tags.

Consumers browsing Saga's 2012 brochures will be able to virtually sample its holiday destinations, which include cruise ships in Norway and South African safaris.

Susan Hooper, CEO of Saga, said: "We're always keen to stay at the forefront of new technological developments that enhance the customer experience, and increase the platforms from which we can interact with them.

"As the breadth of our holiday options has increased, it's really exciting to be able to 'take' customers on a journey before their real adventures begin."

Aurasma's technology has previously been used in mobile games, digital photo galleries and 3D Christmas cards.

Uses for augmented reality continue to grow in step with the popularity of smartphones. In addition to the now widespread use of QR codes across the media and marketing industries, it's possible to use augmented reality to view real-time GPS location data, trigger audio-visual information and experience other amplifications, such as x-rays.