Pepsi is activating nearly 20 million cans in the Northeast United States with augmented reality as part of a bigger digital marketing campaign around the Super Bowl in 2015.
Cooperating with Blippar Pepsi placed NFL logo on regular Pepsi, Pepsi Next and Pepsi Max cans and 20-ounce bottles. To activate the campaign, consumers should download the Blippar iPhone or Android app and use the app to scan the soda can, which lets them take a virtual photo with one of 7 NFL players by superimposing an image of the fan. The augmented reality campaign also includes a mobile photo-sharing element via Facebook, Twitter or email.
Another option available through the app is registration for customers to win tickets to the 2015 Super Bowl.
“Pepsi’s NFL activation this year has been about celebrating passions with fans, bringing them closer to the game,” Michelle Flegel, director of marketing in PepsiCo’s northeast region, tells Fast Company. “This activation with Blippar’s augmented-reality platform is a great way to bring that to life with our consumers.”
It’s not the first cooperation between Pepsi and Blippar – last time the soda giant used augmented reality in Britain with its Pepsi Max brand to further promote its association with TV magician Dynamo
2. Augmented Reality Contact Lenses to be Presented at CES 2014
Google’s Glass is still not ready for mass market and its design tends to scary non tech-savvy people. At the same wearables startup Innovega claims to create augmented reality contact lenses that interact with full HD glasses.
Last year the company introduced its unique iOptik augmented reality (AR) device. This year it promises to showcase fully functioning prototype of the device, that consists of a pair of sleek eyeglasses capable of overlaying digital media and transparent AR data onto the accompanying lenses. The device will be worn by Innovega staff on the floors of CES.
The lens slip in the eye will play two roles while most wearable glasses play only one role. It can project “glance-able” displays, where data is pushed to the periphery as well as project full-screen HUD, which gives the advantage for games making the experience more immersive. All this can be achieved by utilizing the specialized lenses to help users focus on both close and faraway objects in conjunction with the glasses to project the media and overlays, The goal of the device’s interface is to deliver something both powerful for everyday use in activities like driving and exercising, but simultaneously absorbing for game playing, movie watching, and app using. “Whatever runs on your smartphone would run on your eyewear,” says CEO Stephen Willey. The contact lenses can also be worn without the glasses and only function with the iOptik software when one peers through the company’s paired glasses while the device is activated. The glassware as a whole is very light right now but with adding such devices as a camera, audio devices, touch control, an accelerometer, etc. will inevitably make them heavier.
For those, who don’t remember we covered stories regarding Google Glass assisting surgeries in Spain and Ohio.
This time a surgical team from the University of Alabama in Birmingham performed an operation utilizing Google Glass. Orthopedic surgeon Brent Ponce wore a unit during a shoulder replacement surgery and interacted with Atlanta-based physician Phani Dantuluri via a complementary technology known as Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality (VIAAR). The combination of the technologies enabled Dantuluri to see everything the surgeon was doing on a computer screen hundreds of miles away. The two doctors were able to communicate verbally and discuss the operation as it was performed, and Ponce was able to see the remote surgeon’s hands as a superimposition on his Google Glass display.
“Using VIPAAR, a remote surgeon is able to put his or her hands into the surgical field and provide collaboration and assistance,” Dr. Ponce said. He added: “It’s real-time, real-life, right there, as opposed to a Skype or video conference call, which allows for dialogue back and forth but is not really interactive.”
4. Resolution Tube Promises to Revolutionize Customer Service with $1.5M in Series Seed Funding
ResolutionTube, a TechStars Seattle startup, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for an augmented reality app that helps the technician fix everything from a heating vent to sophisticated medical equipment. Madrona Ventures led the investment with participation from TechStars CEO David Cohen and other angel investors. ResolutionTube believes that customer service can be made more effective and engaging through the use of interactive technologies (e.g. augmented reality), that are only emerging nowadays.
The company is targeting the field services market with a knowledge base and a smartphone app that a technician can use to fix things without needing to consult on various on site issues and fixes. The expert could see what the technician was working on via the ResolutionTube app and interact with the technician through video chat. The expert then could use augmented reality to explain the highly visual solution to the technician quickly and intuitively. All of the information from interactions such as these is captured for use in future troubleshooting, training and other applications. This process saves time and prevents having to make a second trip out to the customer site.
Currently the app listens to the worker and the expert. It then pulls out keywords that gets stored in the knowledge base. The next step will be to use natural language processing so the entire conversation can be added to the ResolutionTube information network.
The funding that the company raised will aid in the development of the platform where companies can work together to make use of AR and provide the company with some flexibility when it comes to working with others in the AR field. ResolutionTube is also creating a prototype app for smart glasses, such as Google Glass.
5. Orbotix Announces New Robot Toy Comming Fall 2014
This week developers behind the mobile-controlled sphere toy called Sphero have unveiled a device they call Sphero 2B. The company unveiled the new smartphone-controlled digital toy at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Unlike two previous versions of Sphero 2B looks a bit like a stylish soda can that someone outfitted with two big, rubber tires.
Orbotix says the 2B is rated to hit 14 miles per hour, which is twice that of the Sphero 2.0, it is also capable of doing little jumps, but with the same one hour battery life. It’s also waterproof up to a few meters, uses Bluetooth LE to work up to 30 meters away from your phone or tablet, and will have one new driving game when it ships. The toy syncs with Bluetooth to be controlled via an iOS or Android app. It will cost $100 when it hits the market this fall.
“The new version of the Sphero should appeal those who want to have an augmented-reality driving experience with their remote-controlled robot toy”, said Orbotix chief executive Paul Berberian. “The company will create accessories for 2B including nubby tires for outdoor play and a built-in IR sensor and light that will let you play tag with multiple 2Bs and race them from checkpoint to checkpoint.”