Yesterday Apple has announced several product-updates, as well as new devices (HomePod) on its own dev-conference WWDC. Most surprising to me was the AR Kit, a new development tool that allows you, me and all of us to easily implement Augmented Reality in our daily lives from now on. For some of you that might only sound like a little gadget, but to me it’s a huge possibility to create some wicked advertising, which could enhance our daily routines. How this is going to happen? Overnight we’ve developed a little demo for our dearest coffee brand.
Smartphone / Tablet instead of AR glasses
The big vision for advertising: In ten years we all stroll around, wearing nice AR glasses on our head, while passing our favorite locations the suitable advertisement pops up. How about a cute 3D puppy that greets you in front of a Pet Supplies, or a new smartphone with a coupon in 3D that leads you into the next Telefonica shop?
To create those objects is already possible, but of course the AR glasses are not there yet, only very few people, mostly devs, already own the needed gears. The HoloLens, which you can get for 3k, is a good example. It’s a product for techs, not for the masses. But what do the masses own? Right, a smartphone! – And that’s where Apple jumps in.
Experience right now – our demo
Thanks to Apple’s AR Kit it is from now on very simple to place virtual objects on surfaces; Surfaces, which the camera is able to detect and work with. Before the needed surface information was not given. Thus the objects only could’ve been placed on the lenses, not on or behind physical objects. Remember Pókemon Go? The new technology is quite similar, but with Pikachu jumping around right on your street, like on steroids in a positive way.
So how does it look like? Overnight we’ve developed a little demo for my dearest coffee brand, using iOS11 and the AR Kit.
On the actual table you can see a virtual coffee mug with a coupon. We simplified the exposure here, the coupon could also occur when the user touches the virtual mug on her/his display. The voucher can be converted by tipping on “Redeem Now”.
Imagine you are Starbucks – you’d be able to implement this functionality in your mobile application. As a store-manager you could place the virtual mug on the counter, or somewhere else in the store, and the customers could go on a mug-search. Pretty straightforward and without glasses, like in Pókemon Go.
The complexity of the virtual objects is boundless. We just created a simple example; the mug could be steamy or imagine a little figure running up and down on the counter. The extend is up to the creatives, the technology behind the objects remains the same.
It’s all about quantity…
Most importantly – as for all other ad formats as well – is the intelligent application of such objects. I asked my co-founder Nils to have a fling, that’s what I got:
As funny as this is, everyone should recognize how annoying it would be as customer. Hence, fewer objects per scene / sequence are more valuable.
Apple is on the right path. I’m a huge fan of Augmented Reality, but do also realize that it’s still a long way to go for the glasses to be mass compatible. Those gears will only be successful if they a) are fancy to wear and b) inhabit great technology. For both aspects there’s no appealing, user-friendly product or solution on the market right now. Consequently we should use what we’ve already got, the smartphone.
I’m very looking forward to the upcoming weeks and month, playing around with Apple’s AR Kit. Lastly and Foremost I’m looking forward to brands who are adventurous to try the new technology. Ikea, Starbucks & Co… call me.