How to Use Gamification to Level up Your Business

games

By now, especially if you operate in a modern working environment, you must have heard of the term gamification. Quite simply, gamification has invaded every industry there is. Yet, not many understand what gamification fully entails. Inaccurately, some think of it only as animated characters or vintage 8-bits flying everywhere. However, it’s not called video gamification; it’s not limited to elements of video games. Hence, the term can be much broader.

So what exactly is gamification? It’s the integration of game-like elements into experience design to make it easier for experiences to achieve set goals. Essentially, these elements are what soccer, chess, polo, UNO, and every other game humanity has ever known share together. Notably, these elements include competitiveness, rules, themes, and replayability among others. But, perhaps the most telling of these elements is the introduction of objectives which lead to clear desired conclusions. For example, score goals, defend well, etc in order to win a soccer match.

To make things clearer, how about we gamify this blog post? In the spirit of gamification, let’s integrate the latter element into this blog post. The desired conclusion here is a full grasp of how to use gamification to level up your business. These are our objectives, we’ll call them checkpoints, to getting there:

Checkpoint 1: Understand Why Gamification Works

Quick recall: we agreed that gamification is applying elements from games to non-game experiences. So an important question to ask here is: why do games work?  Why did the human breed invent games incipiently and why have they survived the test of time?

Well, an instinctual answer here would be because games are fun. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with this answer. Still, we could dive somewhat deeper (without getting into the biology part and how dopamine is synthesized from tyrosine). In order to so, let’s step into the shoes (sandals?) of an ancient lad playing an ancient game. Possibly the oldest game in the history books is an Egyptian board game from about 5000 years ago.

Now, you can imagine the setting. Think of what’s consuming this man’s thoughts. Between whether or not his wheat crops will grow and thoughts about finding a partner (relationships weren’t as simple as you might think in ancient Egyptian times), a fair share of complexities is giving this poor guy a hard time.

Unlike his complicated life, the board game has a known reachable conclusion. The game’s a much-needed breath of fresh air because it guarantees immediate feedback with no contradictions or inconsistencies whatsoever. The game starts and ends the same way every time. With that, achieving goals and creativity stimulation become much easier. Briskly, joy would follow. From there, we return to the games being fun part.

Today, our lives are, at the very least, as complex as our ancestors’. Thus, we still rely on games to get us through our days. Ultimately, that’s the same reason business leaders gamify their ventures’ means of communication.

Checkpoint 2: Explore the Benefits of Gamification

Phew, so we’re done with the exhausting part. Next, we discuss the “what’s in it for me?” part aka the benefits of gamification.

1- Novel Approach to Data Acquisition

Without a doubt, customer research is an integral part of any business’ strategy. Accordingly, some brands take extreme measures just to get to know more about their customers. More often than not, these measures backfire. In such cases, customers feel exploited and they might cut all ties with said brands for good.

However, your brand can avoid these catastrophes and still gather crucial data using gamification. You could easily create a gamified experience which customers need to fill forms before accessing. Therefore, if your game is well-designed enough, customers won’t feel exploited to give their data. That’s because they’d see the value you’re providing them right away.

2- Brand Reach Intensified

In a stunning stat, Gigya showed that website-based gamified experiences boost social media sharing by 22%. More impressively, content discovery increases by 68%. A brand like Nike knows all about that. Its NikePlus program is a brilliant example of gamification that has amassed astounding reach.

Essentially, NikePlus is a virtual fitness center that gathers users from all walks of sport. While each Nike customer trains where he/she lives, they all get to share athletic feats on NikePlus. Consequently, this creates a level of competition that pushes users every day to log in to level up their scores.

Plus, when the user reaches solid scores, they will immediately head to social media to brag about it. In part, this will challenge their non-NikePlus friends to join the movement too. Conclusively, Nikeplus users advocate for the Nike brand with little to no pushing from Nike itself.


3- Customer Loyalty Amplification

Another huge brand that has mastered gamified experiences? Starbucks. Basically, the coffee mogul has implemented a gamified reward system that has all its fan in love with it. Every time a user buys from Starbucks, he/she gets stars in return. Later on, the user can redeem those starts for neat rewards.

4- More than a Marketing Tool

If you think the aforementioned benefits gamification to marketing uses only, think again. Quite contrarily, gamified experiences belong in many other areas. In your workplace, you can create a gamified experience to welcome and orient new hires with their new environments. They’ll think they have the best boss ever right away. Of course, Fitbit is a super popular example of gamified healthcare. And don’t even get me started on gamified education. I’d need an entire blog post for that.

Checkpoint 3: Determine the Perfect Medium for Gamification

Generally, two apparent options present themselves here: physical or digital gamified experiences. Each has opposing pros and cons to the other. In digital, you can create the games of your wildest dreams. Go as crazy as you wish with the stories, characters, and visuals. However, the catch here is that users will only get to experience all that passively. They won’t be able to participate physically and that’s against our humanistic nature.

On the other hand, you can guarantee excellent engagement from users with physical gamified experiences. But, you won’t have the luxury of creativity here.

Unfortunately, it looks like you need to make a choice here. After all, life is all compromises, right? Wrong! There’s another medium that hates settling; it doesn’t take no for an answer.

And that’s Augmented Reality!

Case in point: Pokémon GO. This massive phenomenon has taken the world by storm since 2016. Pokémon GO has been downloaded over 550 million times. 5 million users play it daily. And it has generated a revenue of $2.5B. We could go on and on with these statistics, but one fact stands. The main reason Pokémon GO reached such heights is that AR is the right medium for it. AR allowed the developers to bring everything they had in mind to life. At the same time, the players’ physical participation wasn’t sacrificed.

Truthfully, we’ve been evading Pokémon GO on the Augmania blog. That’s because there’s a false stigma that AR is only about Pokémon GO. That couldn’t be more wrong. Actually, you’ll find plenty of refutations to this belief in the form of blog posts right here on our blog.

In addition, Augmania has worked together with Coca-Cola on AR gamification projects to a plethora of success. In fact, we may or may not be collaborating now on a gamified AR experience for a gigantic sports event this year. Ahem. I said too much.

Finally, you can start creating your own gamified experiences using the Augmania platform. We have a special section designed for gamification. Sign up now!

3 Ways AR is Transforming the Automotive Industry

AR automotive

Generally, the one underlying theme behind this blog has been the unmatched disruptive capacity of AR as a tech. Yet, few as they are, some critics still deny the influence of AR in our daily lives. In some way, they claim that AR is just a marketing gimmick that will fade away in due time. While, sure, AR is a perfect tech for marketing in this age, it’s far more than just that. So the best way to silence those doubters is to highlight the applications of AR in trillion dollar industries. Accordingly, this blogpost aims at just that as we delve into how AR affects the ever-affluent automotive industry.

Now, I have a feeling, dear reader, that your thoughts currently revolve around augmented windshields. Honestly, how could they not? Who doesn’t fantasize about a car with a windshield that displays all relevant data in a Batmobile-esque manner? That’s the stuff of dreams, right? Wrong, that’s the stuff of an imminent reality. In fact, some companies are already working to make sure these windshields arrive before we know it. And no, it’s not WayneTech.

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With that said, I must make one thing crystal clear. AR’s true disruptiveness lies in its dynamicity. In other words, you don’t have to bring innovations out of Sci-fi movies to life to score with AR. Quite contrarily, you can generate significant momentum in the automotive industry using AR for smartphones. That’s exactly what we’re tackling here: simple AR ideas that can lead to huge impacts in the automotive industry.

Seatbelts on! Let’s do this!

1- Teleportation and Simulation in the Automotive Industry

Well, we’ve discussed AR’s teleportation superpowers before. It would make great sense for the automotive industry to capitalize on them. And it does! Using AR, customers can park any car in their own garages. Then, they’re free to do whatever they wish with the ultra-realistic 3D car models. Customers can move around them as they are life-sized and land smoothly on surfaces. They can examine each car part to uncover all of the cars’ special features in detail. Not to mention, they can channel their inner designers and change the cars’ physical appearance, including colors and props.

Just as interesting, brands can allow customers to actually enter AR cars. That way customers get an accurate simulation of the cars while on the road.

This approach to AR in the automotive industry leverages the age of internet. In this age, customers aren’t as likely to wander multiple times between car agencies before making a purchase. They can’t afford the time or the energy for that. Instead, they want all info presented to them in convenient, novel, and interactive ways. And that’s precisely what brands can give them using AR.

2- Full Product Visualization in the Automotive Industry

Of course, it goes without saying that cars are among the most complex products around. There are plenty of essential parts that the drivers don’t get to see. Via the virtue of AR, people of the automotive industry can see all hidden car layers. Most recently, Toyota developed an app to allow showroom customers to visualize everything that makes up their cars.

However, product visualization using AR is also of value to car developers. Ford understands that well. Hence, they partnered with HoloLens to let car creators see what’s under the skin of their creations in AR. When they do so, they can have a deeper understanding of the cars’ functionalities and more efficiently refine them.

3- Product Education in the Automotive Industry; Less Accidents

Unfortunately, a 2017 study revealed that the average reading minutes per American dropped from 23 in 2004 to 17. While this stat affects all industries, it especially and dangerously affects the automotive industry. Since average customers don’t read enough, they also seldom read product manuals. Thus, lots of drivers aren’t sufficiently familiar with the cars they’re driving. This lack of awareness can sadly lead to accidents.

Moreover, this issue intensifies with customers who regularly rent cars for business travel or road trips. In these cases, the drivers take long trips in cars they may have never driven before. Now, imagine this. While on the highway, the driver of the rented car suddenly sees a red lamp turn on. The driver has no idea what the lamp indicates. Consequently, it doesn’t take long for the driver to get overstressed.

With this stress, one of two scenarios can take place. In the first one, the driver pulls over to ask for help which halts his/her travel plans. In the second scenario, an unfortunate accident takes place, hurting the driver and others on the road. At the moment, you may be blaming all that on the driver for not reading the car manual. But it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. That’s a critical case that takes place often and must be prevented as is.

So in hopes of creating safer roads, Augmania has innovated the AR driver’s best friend.

We call it the best friend because drivers can fully rely on it in case of the aforementioned catastrophes. Quite simply, instead of being panicked by the red lamp, the driver can scan it with his/her phone. Immediately, he/she would get instructions on how to respond to this lamp. Moreover, in emergencies, the AR system supplies the driver with important numbers to call in such horrific events.

For car rentals, enabling Augmania’s AR Driver Best Friend can reduce customer accidents and damage to owned cars. Plus, it shows customers that the car rental actually cares for their safety. That goes a long way in building trust in an era where brand trust is at an all-time low.

So if you own a car rental and are looking to collaborate with Augmania to put an end to road accidents, reach out to us right now! You can also sign up to Augmania’s Web AR platform to see the tech itself in action!


Why glTF 2.0 is the AR 3D File Format best friend?

Recently, we covered how 3D content can transform the way your brand communicates with everyone. Plus, we discussed how you can get started with 3D content. A part of that was explaining the different 3D file formats available. Briefly, we shed light on the powers of glTF 2.0 aka the JPEG for 3D. Now, it’s time to give it the attention it deserves.

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Oculus are just some of the moguls supporting glTF 2.0 as a 3D file format. Interestingly, a few of them, such as Facebook, even uses it exclusively for 3D. Also, the world’s most renowned source for 3D files, Sketchfab, recommends glTF. For sure, these are massive accomplishments for a format that has existed for less than two years. Right now, you’re probably asking how exactly glTF 2.0 won the hearts of proficient 3D developers everywhere. Well, let’s take a look.

In 2017, Khronos Group, a non-profit that’s almost like the Professor X of 3D, launched glTF 2.0. To make it clear what makes their format special, I’ll leave the mic to the good people of Khronos:

“glTF™ is a royalty-free specification for the efficient transmission and loading of 3D scenes and models by applications. glTF minimizes both the size of 3D assets and the runtime processing needed to unpack and use those assets. glTF defines an extensible, common publishing format for 3D content tools and services that streamline authoring workflows and enables interoperable use of content across the industry.”

Alright, I can tell that didn’t help much. For nontech geeks, I’m half sure it wasn’t fun getting through that definition. But, worry not; for I know the perfect approach to deciphering glTF 2.0’s strengths. We’ll dissect the chunky definition into separate digestible perks and delve into each individual.

– glTF 2.0 is a lightweight champion

Needless to say, for any 3D initiative to be successful, it must be light for users to indulge. A lagging 3D experience can be an instant killer to any budding brand-customer relationship. Fortunately, glTF 2.0 takes that into consideration and facilitates 3D lightness and speed like no other format. It does that by combining node hierarchy, animations, camera angles, textures, and geometry in single files.

Then as a lightweight champion, it knocks out the 3D file’s size to a minimum. Consequently, it delivers that same knockout to runtime (the executed instructions while a program is running) and loading speed. Together, these ensure smooth lightning-fast flow as well as a consistent rendering of models. And that’s just one reason this champion is undefeated.

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– glTF 2.0 promotes physically-based rendering

glTF is the go-to format for physically-based rendering. PBR is a groundbreaking 3D technique. It simulates how light interacts with objects in a mathematically and physically accurate manner. Accordingly, this leads to 3D models, either static or animated, that react to their environments super realistically. glTF adopters establish this by adjusting each object’s metallicness, roughness, and base color.

– glTF 2.0 is highly intuitive

When considering the aforementioned features, it makes perfect sense that glTF is easy to use. Yet, to make this argument more sound, I did some research. It didn’t take me long to come across this great testament. “I don’t have any 3D format implementation experience, and I implemented glTF 2 in a day or less.”

– glTF 2.0 is just getting started 

Brilliantly, one aspect Khronos paid attention to while developing glTF was future growth potential. That’s why we’re regularly seeing new features added to the non-proprietary file format. At Khronos, they also maintain a solid line of communication with developers for continuous feedback.

With all that said, glTF 2.0 becomes the ultimate file format for AR and VR projects. These disruptive techs need a format that’s just as disruptive and glTF easily gets that job done. Here at Augmania, we invite our users to use glTF 2.0 for 3D models on the Augmania platform. It makes campaign crafting way easier. Moreover, the campaigns themselves will be all the more fun to experience that way.

What if you already have 3D models of different formats, though? No worries. There’s a bunch of ways you can convert them to glTF. Arguably, the most convenient of these is using Sketchfab. You can upload your models on Sketchfab, then easily download them as glTF.Magic! Alternatively, you can opt for online converters. Examples of these include black thread and Model Converter.

Again, we recommend the use of glTF 2.0 on the Augmania platform. But that doesn’t change the fact that we support a plethora of other formats. In fact, who said you even have to use 3D? You can still create epic campaigns using images, videos, and audio on Augmania. Sign up right now and see for yourself how Augmania changes the game!