1. Amazon Adds Flow’s Augmented Reality for Faster Buying
Shoppers used Flow, a standalone app from Amazon’s A9 unit, to search for, and purchase, items by simply taking a photo or scanning a bar code. Now, they can do it straight from the Amazon app. by pointing the phone with an app at the product. Items can be scanned this way one after another, each one saved into search history.There are also wish lists available in the app to let customers return to the item any time they want. The AR feature in Amazon’s app is very flexible – it works by identifying not only media package covers, but also logos, artwork and other unique visual features – and can cover a much broader range of packaged items. Amazon hopes this new integration into its main iOS app will encourage the purchase of even more everyday items.
The new integration is available only on iOS 7 for now, but the Original Flow app (powered by Amazon) can still be found on iTunes and the PlayStore.
Premium biscuit brand Oreo teamed up with mInteraction and MediaCom, the digital group and media agency under GroupM Thailand to launch limited edition gold box sets with an extra special augmented reality seasonal greeting card.
The objective of the campaign for the brand was to increase sales and steal market share from competitors in selling biscuits while offering a premium range of products to create a sense of sharing with loved ones during festive season. It would be topped up with a one-of-a-kind Augmented Reality card for friends or relatives.
The campaign ran from 9 December until 31st January. A festive short greeting clip encapsulated family bonding and was highlighted on the Augmented Reality card. The users required the webcam and the Oreo Selection box to unlock the magic moment, which they could experience and share to the loved ones. Users have the option to send the 3D electronic card or the visual augmented reality card with animated characters playing in the Oreo castle with fireworks and personalized card messages. These characters are part of the greeting card and for their faces the app accesses users’ pictures from social networks. As a result a total of 76,715 people visited the application, with more than 40,000 people playing with the application and more than 40% sharing the moment. The campaign also gathered more than 31 million Facebook impression on the Facebook Page post.
London-based 3D technology company Inition created a real estate app that will provide potential buyers with visual plans of buildings under development without the need to visit in-person. It works with specially drawn floor plans that enable people to see 3D renderings of the structures and spaces via the iPad. App developers say that the app will be a game changer for realtors and developers because the app not only highlights key exterior features of the building, but interior features can also be added to form an elaborate display model.
Lindsay McGinn, Director of Creative Marketing, SDG, says, “It’s as a very cost-effective way of presenting projects. The AR has helped our client visualize the property, from thousands of miles away, and with the opportunity to explore the plans in great detail.”
In October Augmented Pixels released our own virtual AR solution for architects, real estate agents and developing companies – ARHouse, which allows not only have a look at a 3D model of a building and its surrounding, but also view separate floors and panoramic views inside and outside of it. URL: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/inition-augmented-reality-app
4. An “Augmented Reality” Interactive Book That Makes You Feel Characters’ Pain
MIT scientists have created a ‘wearable’ book using temperature and lighting to mimic the experiences of a book’s protagonist.
As part of the project, the team created a prototype book covered in sensors and actuators and hooked up to a vest. As the plot develops, the book produces physical sensations to mimic the characters’ emotions. If the protagonist is scared, for example, air pressure bags in the wearable vest will constrict to make the reader’s chest feel tighter. In the case of sadness, one hundred LED lights on the book cover adjust to create an ambient lighting that reflects the emotion. Even though it’s not augmented reality in the way we usually use this term, but the book augments sensory perception of a reader.
Named “sensory fiction”, the idea was developed by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope and Julie Legault at MIT’s media lab. The prototype story used was James Tiptree Jr’s Hugo award-winning novella “The Girl Who Was Plugged in”.
5. Word Lens App Adds Russian Language Just in Time
On the 7th of February, the day Winter Olympics start, Word Lens has added a new language to it visual text translation service. App developers added support for Russian, allowing translate signs, menus and other texts on the go. Word Lens language packs install right on your device, making it perfect for travel as no data use is required comparing with Google Translate app that needs network connection to operate. To use the app you should simply point your device’s camera at the desired text and it will be instantly translated right on your screen. Among other languages for which the app provides bi-directional translations are Spanish, English, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. Word Lens is available for Google Glass, iOS and Android devices.