Augmented reality has been around for quite some time, however it was really only used by marketers to engage their customers. However, Pokemon Go has brought the technology to the masses, and raised its general awareness, writes JASON RIED MD of Fuzzy Logic.
While Pokemon Go has brought augmented reality (AR) to the fore, the technology has been around as far back as the ‘50s and has been used across a wide variety of applications and industries. The runaway success of the game in recent weeks has just increased general awareness or AR, encouraging businesses to explore the potential that it offers.
The most common applications of augmented reality in the BP (Before Pokemon) era were as a marketing gimmick; marketers very quickly spotted the potential to engage with users on the next level, and introduced a lot of different apps – with varying degrees of success.
Early attempts at utilising this new technology were more experimental, with people trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, the downside to this approach was scepticism from people who tried and failed.
Every industry needs a breakout product that helps take it to the next level, and a big AR success like Pokemon Go was required to reignite interest in the possibilities of the technology, not just for games, but also for business use.
The game has shown – in a fun and engaging way – that augmenting the real world is something that consumers want, and for businesses, it shows that AR is potentially profitable with the right implementation.
In the AP (After Pokemon) era, more people will understand what AR is – either by reading or watching news about it, having downloaded the game and playing it for themselves, or even just through observing other players in action.
Turning fun into revenue
AR is far more than just gaming though, and some businesses have come to realise that it is a useful tool to connect and engage with customers, building loyalty and potentially even driving sales.
But the applications of AR extend beyond marketing; AR has helped warehouse pickers and technicians become more efficient, and welders and craftsmen more accurate. It has also helped make history and geography more fun, and tourism more educational and engaging.
To take full advantage of this potential, we need to look beyond introducing AR for the mere novelty of it. What businesses need to do is identify a pain point affecting its customers or staff; like successful apps, successful AR experiences look to address one or two pain points rather than a whole series of issues.
Using the technology for something meaningful like enhancing, simplifying, or even just speeding up the way in which people deal with your product or service offering not only goes a long way towards improving customer experience, but potentially drives sales.
In today’s data-driven world, the benefits of a well-crafted AR application extend beyond online virality. Businesses can use these apps to learn more about the end users and their behaviours, and use this information to improve their operations, be it stock planning, product preferences, and more.
They don’t need to know what the ultimate AR solution is going to be, they just need to understand their customers or end-users, and have a crystal clear view of the pain point. An experienced developer can take this information and design a bespoke solution that not only wows and engages the end-user, but also offers an answer to a specific business need.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Street art goes electric
Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.
The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.
The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.
D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.
D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.
“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”
As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.
Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”
Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”