November 12, 2015 — There has been a lot of talk about the future of Augmented Reality and how big of a market share it will occupy in the upcoming years. AR is going through an incredibly exciting evolution into mainstream uses thanks to wearables; HoloLens, Magic Leap and Asus are all eager to change the way we will consume content on a daily basis for work and leisure. Who knows what Apple has in store for us with it’s recent acquisition of Metaio - safe to assume they are planning on plugging in AR magic into all of the devices that have become an integral part of our lives.

Wearables aside, AR is happening right now on mobile devices and, at INDE, we have been very successful in our big screen adaption of the technology with BroadcastAR. It is safe to say that INDE is a global company having installed in more than 30 countries ranging from obvious destinations such as major capitals and cities in Europe, Asia, Middle East and the US to more remote countries such as Guadeloupe and Mongolia. What truly makes our work fascinating though is the wide range of clients we have serviced. This is made possible by the incredible versatility of the technology.

Let’s take the educational use of AR in Museums for instance. Our BroadcastAR system has been deployed in several Natural History museums, most notably in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Museums want to provide their patron an immersive experience to educate whilst entertaining. MobileAR solutions are also a perfect tool to deliver interactive content to enhance existing exhibits and artifacts or to recreate them all together. One of the more exciting project we worked on was in the Isle of Wight whereby we built a custom application which allowed us to place real size 3D dinosaurs in their natural environment. And our latest creation: we have recently built the first ever all virtual travel exhibit launched in Shanghai in October with 150.000 visitors on the opening day!

Watch the video of T-Rex Revealed,  a groundbreaking travelling dino exhibit that uses solely Augmented Reality developed by INDE

Consider another massive target for INDE: shopping malls. Let’s face it, competition amongst retailers is fiercer than ever and the omnipresent advertising messages we receive daily are testament. Retailers are very demanding with shopping malls when it comes to generating footfall. Not only is there competition amongst shopping malls for that footfall but e-commerce is also on the rise and has steadily been chipping away from the brick and mortar retailers market share. Economic recession is certainly making that competition even stronger. So malls need to focus on activation events and this is where our BroadcastAR comes into play. Shoppers can step right in front of the screen and instantly be immersed in a world of photo-realistic high quality 3D wild animals or dinosaurs without the use of expensive wearables or having to download an app; it’s instant delivery entertainment. This not only creates a buzz for the mall which will attract a bigger crowd, but also serves to instill customer loyalty.

Arctic Explorer, INDE's Appshaker BroadcastAR experience entertaining the crowd at Cityplaza in Hong Kong - sharable/printable photo taken by the system's SnapShare module

Arctic Explorer, INDE's Appshaker BroadcastAR experience entertaining the crowd at Cityplaza in Hong Kong - sharable/printable photo taken by the system's SnapShare module

Speaking of entertainment, this leads me to another one of our important targets: the theme park community. This sector is booming and we have seen a rise of interest for our AR solutions from this community. The masses are seeking family entertainment, and the demand for cutting edge solutions are up and coming. We have had a chance to work in the past with Universal and most recently have installed systems in theme parks in China and Indonesia. We just joined the IAAPA community (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and will be attending their trade-shows in Orlando in November and next year in Shanghai. If you are around, come visit our booth. We are so excited to be involved in this community and look forward to delivering much more AR fun across the world.

Last but not least, we do have a lot of interest for our AR solutions from a marketing/brand development perspective. Sometimes we work directly with the end customers and often are approached by agencies. We have worked with companies from all type of sectors such as Telecommunication, Pharmaceutical, Banking etc… and the common thread is that all these companies are looking at AR to create a fun experience to associate their logo with. Our BroadcastAR systems have a great feature called SnapShare which allows for a photo or video snapshot to be uploaded to select social media or downloaded via a cloud based microsite. By adding logo/caption to the snapshot, this becomes an added exposure via social media and we all know how important it is to be present on the web.

Our most iconic project in line with this use of AR was for National Geographic who had commissioned us to create an immersive experience to develop brand awareness in key asian markets. The video from those installations went viral and ever since we have been very fortunate to receive steady flows of inquiries, all thanks to web exposure.

I could go on and on about the expansive ways to apply AR in our lives. We will be sharing more in future blogs about how AR can deliver relevant solutions for everyone, so follow our next posts to find out more.

The large-screen Augmented Reality experience we created for National Geographic