Архив метки: Augmented Reality

The Zaphat Can Turn You Into A Zombie…Sorta


Here’s an interesting approach to Augmented Reality marketing: turn hats into Zombie heads.

The Zaphat (pronounced like Zap Hat, not Zafat) is a new line of fashion apparel where the logo on the accoutrement acts as the target for an iOS/Android app that uses Augmented Reality to transform the wearer into an avatar of their choice.

In other words, when you wear a special hat, people can look at you with an app and see a Zombie instead of your head and then take a picture of you.

This takes personal branding to a new level and is meant to be a fun experience and a way to create images for your social network.

As long as the hat is comfortable, stylish and competitively priced I find it hard to see what’s not to like here. Being able to make you look like a Zombie is icing on the cake.

The Zaphat (and accompanying app) all developed by Zappar, could easily be popular in youth markets, and is obviously expandable to different pieces of clothing, allowing for an entire doppelganger wardrobe to be associated with any clothing line. That’s an interesting idea.

It’s a novelty product right now but some could say much of fashion is novelty anyway. So really, this product could fit into the greater world of style with nary a dispute by the fanciful lords of fashion, don’t you think?

On a deeper level, as AR technology progresses toward the eyewear prototypes being developed by Google, Vuzix, Lumus and others, a real and alternate way to present yourself to others could become possible, even trendy.

Imagine an entire AR costume party, or an entire stage play occurring where the actors’ costumes are rendered by the eyewear of the audience. Concepts like the Zaphat could be a stepping stone in the path to a future state like this.

Or it could just be a cool hat.

It will be available in the coming months at Zappar.com and at other retail stores to be announced.

The Zappar app is available at iTunes and Google Play

The Zaphat Can Turn You Into A Zombie…Sorta

Attention Melbourne: You May Now Begin Hunting For Virtual Eggs


With all the talk about the potential of Google Glass, I thought it might be nice to drop back in on the current state of Augmented Reality — the kind where you still use a smartphone to view markers or images.

In the spirit of Google’s “20-percent time”, Melbourne Australia based mobile app development company jTribe developed an Augmented Reality Easter egg hunt for their fair city this Easter.

The company took one day a week (for the last 10 weeks or so) to work on their own project which launches today.

The app, which is called EggRaider, has a radar-style viewer to show the general direction of virtual eggs the company has attached to landmarks all around Melbourne. Once you get close to an egg, you switch to Augmented Reality view (by tapping the camera button in the app) to see the egg and collect it. “Race against friends and family to collect the most” says jTribe.

*Note that the virtual eggs are only available at Melbourne, Australia landmarks. There is a demo view though, so you can get the idea of how it works if you are so inclined.

This is not the first AR Scavenger hunt. REI has done one. Clutter magazine another.

What I like most about this concept though is that the company just did it on their own…no waiting around to sell to a client…just a rapid prototype that they brought to fruition and submitted for the sake of coolness, learning and potential as a product.

In terms of future use, this kind of scavenger hunt does have marketing potential for brands, especially within the teen and tween segments. These younger customers are collectors and would probably flock to games and campaigns built around technology like this.

The app is available at iTunes.

Attention Melbourne: You May Now Begin Hunting For Virtual Eggs

Map Your Own 3D Space With Metaio Creator Mobile


I shot 3 different videos yesterday that describe Metaio’s new Creator Mobile software which allows you map real environments to hold augmented, digital content. Of all those videos (shot in well-lit, more stabilized sound environments) the best example to describe the system, of course, shows up at an off site event in a loud, dark room. Yet again, I busted out the “Rogue Ghetto Cam” (aka iPhone 4S) to capture the content. My apologies for the shakiness.

It’s no secret that I am an Augmented Reality fanboy in general and impressed with much of Metaio’s work. They are always up to something new.

Yesterday, Metaio CTO Peter Meier ran a small demo for me that describes how their new Creator Mobile software allows any user to map a 3D space with a coordinate system, so they can then add their own digital, Augmented Reality content to that space. This mobile app will work in conjunction with their desktop solution called simply Metaio Creator (video description at this link), which is where the content is actually associated with the coordinate system, via “drag and drop”.

The implications for retailers are obvious — add your own digital posters or videos to your store walls. Swap out the content whenever you like or even personalize for individual customers. All for free and without technical expertise.

As Augmented Reality enabling eyewear by the likes of GoogleVuzix, Lumus and others become a reality, we will see this trend take off.

Map Your Own 3D Space With Metaio Creator Mobile

Junaio And Kreativagentur Thomas Launch AR Scavenger Hunt – Win An iPad


Another example of creative use of Augmented Reality rears its head in the form of an online scavenger hunt with a chance to win an iPad 2.

The team at Metaio who created the Junaio Augmented Reality browser and German creative shop Kreativagentur Thomas have partnered to create a scavenger hunt where you can use Junaio to scan special images hidden around the web to unlock AR content and experiences. At the same time, you collect stars for each scan. Collection of these stars can get you in the running for a chance to win a free iPad 2.

How do you get in on the goodness? The instructions are detailed here, but in general, you download Junaio for Android or iOS, scan an initial barcode to launch the game channel (channels in Junaio are like mini-apps inside the browser), register, then start looking for special images and markers to scan out on the net.

Clues to find these scan-able images are found on Junaio’s Facebook page. You must “like” Junaio to be able to see the clues.

The app channel also provides a toggle for two different content views. One view is your typical “viewfinder” mode so you can aim your camera at specialized images or markers and scan them. The other is your “Christmas Room” view, which is a virtual 360 degree view of your Christmas Room, complete with a tree for the presents and stars you collect. You can also superimpose elements from this Christmas Room into pictures you take with your phone’s camera. You can then share these images.

This is a timed event meaning that it starts today (Dec. 6) and if you miss the clues today, you cannot access that content in following days to collect those stars. This creates a little bit of demand, I suppose.

What does this hunt mean in terms of the market for Augmented Reality experiences? Certainly, scavenger hunts are nothing new. And 2-D barcodes and image scanning get a lot of flack these days, partly because they are misused a lot from a strategic standpoint (a.k.a “hey, let’s just slap a 2D barcode link on our print ad at the last minute so people can watch a video”).

I think scanning codes and markers is still a viable concept especially when properly used as a tool to ease the call-to-action for mobile engagement. For example, when you scan a 2D barcode to directly launch an app download screen in the Android Market, you are achieving real utility and time savings by skipping the regular search procedure on your phone. The code effectively ties instruction in one format (print media or PC) to a function in another format (smartphone app download).

Similarly, in this example, the act of scanning both traditional 2D glyphs and special photos/markers becomes a tool of this campaign to help you achieve a goal. Therefore the action of scanning images actually adds value to the customer interaction and is not just a gimmick or novelty. But it is a bit more complex than a lot of “give-away” campaigns out there so we’ll have to wait to see if a lot of people catch on and get involved.

Metaio’s energies for this kind of creative venture are fairly well documented and expansive. But I had not heard of Kreativagentur Thomas until I got the chance to meet a few people from their team back in September. From what I have seen, they have a lot of creative energy as well and are quite adept at using Metaio’s advanced AR technologies as well as the tech of other AR providers. I expect we will see more projects like this coming out of this partnership in the future.

Junaio And Kreativagentur Thomas Launch AR Scavenger Hunt – Win An iPad

Tonchidot CEO Talks 3M Downloads, Augmented Reality, And New App

Iguchi TC Tokyo

When I was in Japan earlier this week, I ran into Tonchidot CEO Takahito Iguchi at the TechCrunch Tokyo conference and dragged him back to my makeshift studio for an impromptu interview about the state of augmented reality and mobile apps. Tonchidot launched its Sekai Camera app at TechCrunch50 in 2008 before anyone really believed that augmented reality apps were possible. They were the crowd favorite.

In the video above Iguchi tells me that Sekai Camera has been downloaded 3 million times (mostly in Japan), and the AR app can add data from any partner as an overlay through its API. With Sekai camera, you look through your phone’s camera, and floating icons indicate place information, deals, photos, among other things. It is also an AR platform for social games.

Iguchi thinks he can improve the experience with better data and image-matching technology. One way he plans on collecting better data in the form of user-uploaded photos is a new photo-sharing app he is working on codenamed Peek-and-Poke. He showed it to me backstage. It is a cross between Batch and the original Color in that it makes it easy to create and share photo albums with other people at the same event or location. But Iguchi is more interested in how he can use those photos to augment his augmented-reality app.

Tonchidot CEO Talks 3M Downloads, Augmented Reality, And New App