Blog Review : Contagious Magazine presents Total Immersion Success Stories

Contagious Magazine presents in its last issue a company focus dedicated to Total Immersion and best case studies. Read complete article on Contagious Magazine.

Total Immersion / The AR bandwagon is currently heaving, but can you really blame those who have chosen not to jump on but rather to wai and se e which brave and rich new territories it rolls into? Leading the convoy by example is software specialis Total Immersion / By Will Sansom /


Let’s start with a stat, shall we? It is estimated that by 2012, between 150 and 200 million people worldwide will be using Augmented Reality (AR) applications on mobile devices, compared to just 600,000 in 2010 (Perey Research & Consulting, Montreux). As potentially mind-boggling as this
prediction is, there is no doubt that its validity will polarise opinion in much the same way as AR technology itself has so far – particularly in the world of
digital marketing where innovation and cold, hard ROI can at times seem unlikely bedfellow.

 
Indeed, since it first burst forth from our screens in all its angular 3D glory a few years ago, AR has resulted in some of the most ground-breaking and yet simultaneously fruitless digital marketing campaigns to have crossed Contagious’ radar. Too many, unfortunately, seem to have had AR elements bolted on for sheer novelty rather than for any tangible consumer benefit. James Hilton is co-founder and chief creative officer of global interactive agency, AKQA – itself responsible for some of the more productive applications of AR in marketing. He remains, however, cautious about how and where it should be used.

 
‘There’s always a danger of doing something stupid. Mum always said “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Although it’s fair to point out her wisdom wasn’t referring to AR, but to my potential premature career as a 15-year-old father. Luckily, back then, I listened. And so, as unwitting adolescents lurch from one ill-conceived (or un-conceived) idea to the next, so too do marketers. At least those who never listened to their mums do. Because whilst something is new and full of possibilities, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you should go anywhere near it. Until, that is, it’s a natural thing to do. The point is a great idea will find a relevant home without too much effort. Idea first, application second. Am I concerned there aren’t that many great applications for AR yet? Not at all, it’s just another answer waiting for the right question.

 
The increase in smartphone and tablet penetration is one reason to have faith in the growth of AR; UK-based Juniper Research has predicted that the number of ARcapable smartphones in the global market will more than double, from 91 million in 2010 to over 197 million in 2012. Furthermore, according to research performed by Gartner, by 2014 30% of mobile subscribers with data plans in mature markets will use AR at least once a
week. The reason for this will be the reduction in friction afforded by such devices, with users no longer tied to a desktop PC but plugged into the web via a series of more targeted, location-based applications. For brands and marketers, however, the challenge will ultimately remain the same – albeit with bigger audiences and higher stakes: how to use AR to meaningfully affect the user-experience in a way which is useful, relevant or entertaining.

 

D’Fusion line
There are, of course, examples which have defied even the most cynical amongst us (Topp’s AR baseball cards which brought each player to life in your hands being a particular Contagious favourite) and of these, a surprising number can be credited to software company Total Immersion – widely acknowledged as a world leader in AR solutions.

 
Founded in Paris in 1999, Total Immersion was the brainchild of Bruno Uzzan, formerly an auditing consultant at Pierre Henri Scacchi & Associates (Price Waterhouse Group), and defence software engineer Valentin Lefevre. It was Uzzan’s business vision combined with Lefevre’s applied knowledge of digital imaging which provided an appealing prospect for investors, as Total Immersion secured venture rounds in 2001 and again in 2006. Today, the company employs 70 staff across offices in Paris, Los Angeles, London
and Hong Kong. As a privately-owned business, Total Immersion does not publish any financial results; however, what they did reveal to Contagious was that revenue had increased by 34% from 2009 to 2010.

 
This rapid growth is also evident in the total number of projects undertaken: in 2008 Total Immersion worked on 100 different campaigns; by 2009 this had tripled to over 300 and at present, the company is involved in approximately 600 projects worldwide.

 
Bruno Uzzan, who acts as CEO, explains how the perception of AR technology has changed in the marketing industry in the past five years. ‘As the founder
of Total Immersion, I was one of the first individuals to pitch AR into various industries and the reaction was almost always the same: “Wow this is great but we have no idea how we would use it”. As a result, we had to spend many years evangelising the technology in what was essentially a non-mature market. However, in 2006 we realised that of all the areas we were looking into, there was by far the strongest interest amongst digital marketers – it was for these people that the concept of merging 3D products into a real environment seemed most appealing.

 
‘In the beginning we had to not just pitch augmented reality, but also to pitch an experience – how AR could be applied to the specific product or brand.

 

Read complete article on Contagious Magazine.

RCR Wireless CTIA Wrap Up : Can you really augment reality?

Have a look at this article : RCR Wireless

ORLANDO, Fla. – When it comes to augmented reality, while the sentiment may be that it’s cool, just how realistic is the technology in the real world? Representatives from Viewdle, Ogmento, Qualcomm, and Total Immersion gathered today at CTIA in Orlando to discuss the issue in a panel entitled “Can you really augment reality?”

[…]

Bruno Uzzan of Total Immersion added that augmented reality for shopping already exists, in so much as users can already place 3D furniture within an existing room without any heavy lifting. He also described a future case scenario whereby shoppers would be able to “try on” various glasses or shirts using their phone’s camera and augmented reality.

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Case Study: How Olympus Spurred Product Awareness and Sales With Augmented Reality

Have a look at this full case study : Marketingprofs

It is said that consumers are four times more likely to buy a product once they’ve held it in their hands. But if you know retail, you understand how challenging it can be to get people into stores, let alone within reaching distance of your product (and interested in handling it).

When electronics giant Olympus introduced a new SLR (single lens reflex) hybrid camera to the marketplace, it knew that it was vital that people get their hands on it; that’s because one of the camera’s major selling points was its advanced compact body design. In short, it was far more representative of a pocket-size point-and-shoot than the typical SLR with interchangeable lenses.

 

To provide the masses with a hands-on experience that wouldn’t require heading to the nearest store, Olympus trialed a new augmented-reality technology. Consumers could print out paper-doll versions of the product and test out its various features via an online interactive tutorial and simulation experience. The campaign even included social elements to motivate users to share these virtual experiences with their networks, and a contest was added to draw additional attention.

It worked. Within a month of the campaign’s launch, more than 50,000 people played with the technology, and the company witnessed a jump in in-store inquiries and sales.

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Blog Review : The Potential of “Augmented Reality” : Even Better Than the Real Thing

Have a look at this article : The Wall Street Journal

Commercial opportunities for companies embracing augmented reality are vast, but not immediately obvious.
‘It’s the real world—only better.” This is how Jay Wright, business-development director at technology company Qualcomm Inc., describes the latest buzz technology to grip the digital world.

So-called “augmented reality” is the overlaying of digital information onto the real world, and everyone from games designers to retailers to health-care companies to estate agents are gearing up to use it. While the potential for such technology to change the world is vast, the biggest challenge for its backers will be to convert this virtual revolution into rock-solid profits. Fortunately, there are countless ways this can be achieved, but not all are immediately obvious.

Augmented reality has shifted from its high-industrial beginnings at aerospace firm Boeing Co., where it was used to overlay schematics of complex wiring diagrams onto actual wiring via a headset, to being a tool that offers to bring together the real world and the Internet. Such a confluence of the actual and virtual worlds should already have offered a route to riches untold. But the commercial potential of this new technology is very far from being realized.

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Blog Review : WAN IFRA Getting new advertising customers with Augmented Reality

Have a look at this article : WAN IFRA Getting new advertising customers with Augmented Reality

To first help participants understand what augmented reality is, Thomas Balduff, Head of Sales for Germany-based Total Immersion, offers this example: the “yellow line” that is used in televised sporting events during a replay that shows the route a ball or player travels.

Thomas Balduff, Head of Sales for Germany-based Total Immersion

Founded in 1999, Total Immersion (TI) is the software solutions provider of a technology called Augmented Reality (AR), which integrates 3D objects into live video. The video is digitally processed and “augmented” with the 3D components. Digital processing mixes real and virtual worlds together, in real time.

Since 2008, Mr Balduff says TI has delivered more than 850 projects to more than 100 customers worldwide. They has worked with some 80 partners in 35 countries. The company’s clients include many major brands including: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nokia, Hugo Boss, Sony Ericsson, Walt Disney and Boeing.

He says augmented reality is the bridge between worlds – and that print media products are usually the entry point, and then the advertisement is combined with the Internet and mobile world.

“If you create a very good experience, the user will make a video of it and share it on Facebook,” Mr Balduff says.

Augmented reality offers companies a chance to keep digital contact with consumers and increase digital revenues by improving the product usage experience.

When creating augmented reality experiences, he says publishers should remember to keep them either fun or educational.

A video example shows a consumer moving a magazine around in front of the computer screen and a 3D football player pops up off the screen and users can also play football games that way.

Another example shows how books can be brought to “life” by placing them in front a computer screen.

Mr Balduff says augmented reality offers a win / win situation for publishers and advertisers, who are willing to spend more money for the experience and consumers are more likely to use and engage with such ads.

“We think augmented reality will go mainstream in 2011,” he says. “A big difference between us and other companies using augmented reality is that we are ‘markerless’ – you don’t need a 2D code – objects, even faces can be set up to trigger the experience, but you do always need a camera.”

Blog Review SD Times : “Businesses still trying to get a feel for augmented reality”

Have a look at this article :  Software Development Times

 

Still in the early stages of development, augmented reality (AR) technology can be used by developers looking to enhance the user experience with a tie-in to the real world, experts in the technology believe.

Developers will need to study applications and platforms that have already been created in order to determine how to utilize the technology for their brand, according to research analyst Jackie Fenn, a fellow at Gartner.

She said that these applications need to determine first how they will create the mix between the real and virtual world: Will it be from a camera on a cell phone? Or will it be created on a desktop screen? These applications must then be tested to ensure that they are accurately depicting the text, images and other components correctly, instead of having text, for example, lying on top of a location or item designed to be showcased by the application, such as a sofa being transposed over an empty space in a customer’s living room.

“The most compelling applications, and how you add value, is by having a link to the physical world and helping users make a decision, like in the IKEA application that allows you to take a card from the store and bring it home, and then, with an application and a camera, visualize the sofa in your home in place of the card,” Fenn said.

Forrester senior analyst Thomas Husson, who authored a December report on AR, likes the definition of the technology set by Total Immersion, a company that developed the D’Fusion AR platform. The company defines AR as a technology that “integrates 3D objects into live video, and then the video is digitally processed and ‘augmented’ with 3D components,” according to its website.

In order for the app to be successful, Husson said it must add value to the experience and cautions that is “not always easy to deliver.”

The December report also said, “One of the key success factors that will unleash the potential of AR is to bring together developers on an open platform scalable across multiple operating systems.” To that end, Adobe and Total Immersion announced an alliance in November to create a universal platform for computers, one that didn’t require a plug-in, according to CEO and co-founder of Total Immersion, Bruno Uzzan.

[more]

Blog Review : Financial Times “Next big trend: virtual fitting rooms”

Have a look at this article : Financial Times

So there you are, sitting in front of your laptop at home and you see a watch you like. “I wonder how that would look on my wrist?” you wonder. Then you print out a little piece of paper embedded with a barcode, wrap it around your arm and hold it up to a camera on your computer and, bingo, there is your arm, adorned with a virtual watch. You can turn it this way and that, decide how chunky is too chunky, and whether stainless steel is better against your skin than rose gold.

Welcome to augmented reality (AR), also known as interactive video technology, which is set to transform the consumer experience. “It’s the next step in creating a seamless experience for the consumer at home, closing the gap between the store and online shopping,” says Chris Sanderson, co-founder of Future Laboratory, a trends prediction agency. [more]

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