In the Toys & Entertainment panel, Brian Seth Hurst (CEO, The Opportunity Management Company), Alton Takeyasu (Senior Director Design, Mattel), and Jason Smith (Pre-Sales/Product Marketing, Total Immersion) explored the role AR plays in connecting entertainment properties with consumers.
Smith began with an overview of the many ways in which AR can impact entertainment. The first was by becoming a character, through a combination of automatic facial recognition technology and using interactive AR experiences that incorporate YouTube to share and play videos. Second, AR could be used to enter the world of a property, such as by interacting with Avatar characters at home in front of a webcam through Mattel’s i-Tag toys. Finally, users could play along with properties, engaging with the brand through an AR powered game that incorporated trading and sharing with social media.
Takeyasu then presented a case study on integrating augmented reality with a new property and Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, using AR to bring a new vehicle to life. Kiosks were installed at Toys R Us that allowed shoppers to experience the toy inside the boy before taking it home. AR on the packaging introduced consumers to the characters and world and presented a video of the content, demonstrating how the playset, cars, and tracks worked in 3D. The kiosk served multiple purposes. Since this was a new product, the AR served as education, teaching children about the product and its functions. Next, the kiosk made the aisle more fun, encouraging shoppers to spend more time in it and buy the toy. Finally, the large amount of activity in the aisle drew in additional participants and encouraged group play.
Smith noted that AR is only limited by the imagination of the creator and its use will increase with the growth of technologies such as Microsoft’s Kinect. The AR could either be tracked by the product, product packaging, an external tracker (such as a dollar bill), or the participant. On the business, panelists discussed that AR metrics can be captured, including measuring engagement through time spent and the reactions of consumers.