AR done the way it should be, without an app
We have been developing Augmented Reality technology that works on smartphones and tablets without the need to download an app. Not having an app removes a psychological barrier that often stops people from interacting with AR. With our approach, all a person has to do is go to a webpage on their phone/tablet (we’ve found QR codes useful for making this easy), allow the site to access their camera and point their device at an AR marker and that’s it. Those few steps are all that is needed to start interacting with AR.
With this method of utilising AR, we have used it to augment company branding, deliver messages in novel ways and created talking points for event stands as a way of drawing in visitors.
For CAE, at an event they were holding during the 2018 World Cup we produced a set of 3 augmented reality beer mats. The beer mats used CAE’s own branding as the AR marker on one side and brief instructions for how to see the AR on the other. The beer mats went down really well with the guests at the event. CAE was especially happy with the beer mat that overlaid one of CAE’s promo video.
Cisco were running an incentive for their sales champions and wanted a different way of delivering a message to the winners other than just sending a letter or an email. The winners of this incentive would get a trip to Mauritius, so they wanted to incorporate a beech theme into the message too. We came up with the idea of sending each winner a box containing items for their trip (luggage tags, sleep mask, travel pillow etc…) and a message embedded in the box delivered in augmented reality.
Using AR, we turned the surface of the box into a beach and had Cisco’s Senior Director of Distribution walk out and deliver their message to the winners. We had various beach objects appear and move out of the scene based on cues as he said them. We wanted to keep the tone light and tried to make it humorous, we picked cartoonish objects and even ended the message with him and a carton dodo (Mauritius’ national bird) putting sunglasses on at the same time.
At BT Young Scientist 2019 in Dublin, Cisco needed to add something fun and different to their stand to help them draw in attendees and make them stand out from the rest of the exhibitors. We pitched them the idea of placing AR markers on screens and having dancing robots jumping out of those screens when attendees pointed their phones at them.
The idea was a bit of a gimmick, but it worked incredibly well as the screens had a snowball effect on getting people into the stand. As attendees saw people interacting with the AR screens more were attracted, in turn, drawing more attendees. The stand at several points was full of young people playing with the robots, and Cisco couldn’t have been more satisfied with the level of traffic the robots generated.
We believe there is massive potential for our approach to AR, with its ease of use for the end user and as a fun communication tool, we look forward to developing this further.