AR Portals Can Take You Places: Here are the 5 Best Portals

AR Portals

For years now, Augmented Reality has been clearing up problems for us left and right. It has made work, personal responsibilities, and the (at times, not so simple) task of enjoying things easier. Yet AR is the gift that keeps on giving. And speaking of gifts, it’s the Christmas season, isn’t it?

Well as a gift for this holiday, AR is giving us the benefits of travel but without paying a penny. It’s through the magical powers of AR portals!

There will definitely be those who managed to save for holiday trips. It’s an arduous process that requires some sacrifices. Congrats to all who pulled it off. More power to them! On the other hand, there are those (*raises hand*) who feel like 2018 was extra harsh on them. As a result, these folks have no budgets for travel this year.

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If “same” is the word coming out of your mouth as you are going this, lovely reader, then allow me to introduce you to AR portals. It doesn’t matter if you like traveling to learn new stuff or to get a thrill. AR portals will get the job done. Now hop along and let’s explore these 5 epic AR portals together!

Portal to Scottish Lore

Bagpipes, kilts, whiskey, and Angus meat may all pop into your head when Scotland is mentioned. But Scotland is one super awesome nation. Its centuries-long contributions to the world go way beyond. Telephones, TVs, bicycles, the Encyclopedia Britannica, penicillin, rock music, logarithms, and many other innovations we use daily originate in Scotland.

One of Scotland’s latest innovations ingeniously educates people on Scottish innovations and Scottish history. The country shows its forward-thinking ways once again with Portal AR. It is an app that invites users to experience Scottish culture while in the comfort of their homes. The app opens 4 portals of different disciplines: Visit, Live & Work, Business, and Study. Each portal unlocks unique destinations for users to travel to.

These destinations include the Edinburgh Castle, the North Coast 500, the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis as well as many iconic university campuses, headquarters of tech companies, and vintage whiskey distilleries. Through Portal AR, the Scottish government aims to boost tourism and establish leadership internationally in the tech world. The job was done well, I’d say.

Portal to Marriott Paradise

Since 1927, Marriott has been soaking visitors in its world-renowned luxury. Its impeccable hospitality has brought about an equally impeccable reputation and over 6500 hotels all over the world. To maintain this storied status, Marriott is always evolving in lots of areas. One of these areas is, of course, technology.

This past June, Marriott Caribbean & Latin America launched an AR app, Portal to Paradise. Marriott developed the AR portal in response to travelers’ change in perception of travel to the Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year to ensure them that plenty of beautiful places were not affected.

The app opens AR portals to 8 majestic Marriott resorts in the region. Users can explore the resorts in all their glory as each comes with 6 unique sites. So the app is your chance to take a walk by the beach, jump in a virtual spa, or witness for yourself the unparalleled coziness of Marriott rooms.

Marriott became one of the first brands to utilize AR portals as a canvas to sell its services. Other brands who have joined the club include Lufthansa. The company launched an app that opens portals to popular touristic cities such as New York and Hong Kong.

Portal to the NBA Finals

Last season, the NBA allowed its diehards to watch the finals on demand in a whole new way. On its app, the league assembled over 20 AR portals! Each portal allowed users to watch the game from a different perspective. This created unprecedented immersion for fans who watched from home. The portals also let users be a part of team huddles, introductions, and celebrations.

The NBA’s tech team is currently working on user data to see which features resonated most. That’s hopefully a sign of more AR portals to come from the NBA later on. With the success of NBA’s AR portals, there’s no reason to think that other organizations like the NFL and FIFA aren’t working on portals of their own. So it’s a pretty exciting time to be a sports fan with different sports leagues competing for your attention.

Portal to the Moon

Imagine you’re at the mall and you overhear a couple having this bit of conversation:

Partner 1: Honey, before we go, I want to check out this furniture store. I know furniture is not your thing. You can wait outside if you’d like. I’ll be back in no time.

Partner 2: Sure, babe. I’ll go for a walk on the moon in the meantime. I’ll be back in no time too.

Ouch, right? Is there any way what Partner 2 said doesn’t lead to an instant argument? Is there any way Partner 1 wouldn’t take it as a sarcastic dig done in bad taste? Yes, there is one; if Partner 2 goes moonwalking via an AR portal. Alright, I’m sorry. I just can’t help but think of such scenario every time I see the portal in action.

Just watch that portal user walk on the moon like he/she was walking down a shopping aisle. The user takes a look at the stunning view of good  Earth from there. Then he/she heads back to the mall. It’s so casual.

So exciting to try. So AR portals, if you ask me.

Portal to the Upside Down

Any Stranger Things fans here? If you are one, you probably know of the AR portal I’m about to go through right now. The portal to the Upside Down! To celebrate the premiere of season 2, Netflix collaborated with Snapchat to create a world lens that let users into Joyce Byers’ infamous living room. Fans could interact with everything in the room and unlock secret easter eggs.

Shazam was also a part of the campaign. If Snapchat was open, it would detect if the show’s theme was playing and open the AR portal. The nice people at Ads of The World published some incredible stats on the campaign. It turns out the campaign reached 45 million users who lived in the Upside Down for 22.5 million minutes.

Developers have been using Snapchat’s world lens to create portals to other fictional realms, including my personal favorite. An AR portal to the Rick and Morty multiverse. Wubba Lubba Dub Dub Y’all!

Well, where are you planning to spend your next holiday then? There’s no shame in spending it at home with family, playing around with AR portals or even creating your own through Augmania.

Top 5 AR experiences of 2018

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2018 was a year full of interactive AR experiences.

Brands and leading firms have realized the importance of investing in AR and they’ve been doing it intensively lately to stay ahead of the game and secure their customers’ satisfaction.

Here are our selected top 5 AR experiences of 2018

1. Weather Channel – Hurricane Florence AR Experience

What’s the best way to warn residents of an upcoming hurricane and raise awareness about such a dangerous phenomenon in a way people will find entertaining?

Apparently, the Weather Channel has already found answers. So far, it is looking very interesting. This happened last September when the destructive Hurricane Florence made landfall on North Carlonia.

In order to inform people about it, the Weather Channel has created some terrifying yet amazing interactive graphic illustrations of the storms and the water surges that are expected to immerse the city using augmented reality. Besides the powerful AR visuals, the weather reporter appeared to be in the middle of the storm while things were falling and water levels rising around him. This made the whole experience seem too realistic.  The video of the AR experience went viral and it marked the success of the Weather Channel at getting people interested and warned about the real dangers of the Hurricane.

      Credit: The Weather Channel / YouTube

2. Coca-Cola – Scandinavia AR campaign

Augmented reality is not news to a huge brand like Coca-Cola. It has been killing it with AR campaigns already since its Arctic Home Campaign back in 2013 to its recent 2018 World Cup AR experience.  In fact, in 2018 it invested heavily in creating more interactive AR experiences all over the world.

Augmania was part of Coca-Cola’s journey into creating immersive experiences as it was deployed to build a Fanta Flip challenge campaign. The experience succeeded massively at boosting consumers’ engagement.  

Coca-Cola’s recent AR campaign at the Mall of Scandinavia was by far its major 2018 hit. It brought life to the coca-cola cans and bottles that were all over the place in an attempt to persuade people to interact with it by collecting it and disposing of it. The campaign was very engaging and people had a lot of fun tossing the cans in creative gestures into the garbage collector. After all, the campaign ‘s goal aimed at highlighting the importance of recycling and keeping the environment clean. Amazingly, people were more than willing to join the cause and be part of the disruptive experience.

    Credit: Coca-Cola / Youtube

3. New York Times – AR Halloween Edition

New York Times took the Halloween celebrations to a whole new level this year. A more frightening one. It included some scary surprises for its readers when browsing the pages of the magazine. This was ensured by a new feature it added, ‘Monsters That Live on You’ which displays augmented visualizations of the most terrifying parasites that we usually avoid seeing at any cost.

So by scanning the QR code, readers will be face to face with their worst nightmare; A huge spider crawling in the screen, a giant cockroach laying in their house floor, bed bugs in their pillows and much more.

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Image by Palladino / Next Reality

To make the experience more exciting, the New York Times included a fun fact related to each parasite to add a little humor to the petrified scene.

4. Nicorette – Augmented Reality Storytelling Campaign

Nicorette is your one-way ticket to quitting smoking. It is a Swedish brand that is providing a nicotine replacement therapy through a wide range of products. It strives for helping people overcome their cigarette cravings.    

Recently, it showcased the great cause that it is advocating for through an awesome AR campaign. It took place at the Kings Cross station in London. Basically, it told the story of David, a smoking addict that succeed at quitting and acquiring instead a better habit; slacklining.  The storytelling style using AR was so intense to make people feel what’s like to be in David’s shoes. They got to see the life he lived and mainly the challenges he overcame during his battle with the smoking habit.

Through this campaign, Nicorette was trying to influence people to replace their smoking habits with more interesting ones. Let’s face it, what a better way to do it than through an immersive AR experience?

Credit: Nicorette/Youtube

5. National Geographic – Augmented Magazine Cover 

Just like Coca-Cola, National Geographic has been doing AR campaigns for a while now. The good thing is that it is getting better each time.

Just this month, it launched an interactive augmented version of its paper edition. With the 3d visuals and impressive animations, people would be able to see athletes swimming in the cover page and more objects coming to life by simply scanning the images.

It is looking cool and people are liking it. Interactive AR magazines might just be the next trend to engage more readers!

Building a better athlete

What was your favorite AR experience of the year? Leave us a comment below or better, make your own experience using the Augmania AR platform.

Why Everyone Is Betting On AR And Why Should You Do It Too

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Everyone is betting on AR.

After all, Augmented Reality is changing the world of consumer marketing. As a result, marketers need to keep up with the changes through betting on AR to provide their audience with a meaningful experience.

This is important as customers are no longer satisfied by old-fashioned marketing practices. They are looking for immersive experiences to stimulate their attention and purchasing behavior.

Overall, with the huge fuss AR is making, most companies began to see the potential of this disruptive technology and some has already started implementing it for their business.

But, why are these companies betting on AR, investing in it and leveraging it for their work?

To be fair, the right question should be why shouldn’t they bet on AR?

The disruptive technology is already giving us every single reason of why we need to believe in its power in transforming our world..

For the sake of the blog, we are just going to explore three major reasons.

For a starter,  AR could add a new dimension to your business…

This goes back to AR’s capacity for providing creative solutions that solve consumers’ most frequent challenges in an entertaining way. This will add value to the service already offered and eventually stand out from the competition.

A case in point is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Recently they addressed a common problem faced by travelers in the most efficient and original way possible. They developed an AR application that allows users to measure the size of their luggage and make sure it fits standards before even heading to the airport. The best part is that it is easy to use, solves the problem and is super engaging. This was guaranteed by the use of augmented reality.

Second reason on why you should implement AR for your business is that it provides a more interesting vision and understanding of complex concepts…

the interactive storytelling. There’s nothing more fascinating than breaking the hardest phenomenon to easy steps and actually interact with it live. This new kind of experiences boosts the audience’s curiosity and engagement with the content presented. The Weather Channel News is already killing it with terrifying yet amazing graphics and virtual representations of Hurricane Florence. The experience was successful as it exceeded people’s expectation and provided a deep explanation of the phenomenon.

Education is also integrating AR as part of its teaching methods to help instructors bring more life into their courses. Once teachers push lessons to AR apps, the whole learning experience will be more fun and attractive to engage with.

Here’s 5 Experiential Learning Augmented Reality Apps for Education

Finally, according to some of the great marketers, AR is going to be CMO’s next tool when it comes to engaging customers.

This applies especially in the retail industry. This explains why the giant retail leaders are using augmented reality campaigns to attract consumers, interact with them and increase their chances of boosting conversion and sales.

Let’s not forget that the AR market is predicted to keep on increasing until 2022.  This makes the technology more attractive to invest in.

So, are you considering betting on AR too?

Here’s a way to start; join our waitlist to get an early VIP access to the Augmania AR platform which will be launched later this week.

Augmented Commerce: why so important?

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Most of us are incapable of imagining a world without internet in general. But for many, a world without e-commerce is the core of the nightmare.

Online shopping has been a blast for us humans of the 21st century. I mean, in a world that counts milliseconds can you imagine having to be physically present at every single purchase you make? Not only is that a huge time waste but a tremendous effort that not everyone is willing to make.

In other words, the emergence of e-commerce has revolutionized our transactions and basically the way we live, and since the 70s it has been the focus of tech engineers and retailers. Today with a simple click from any device, you can make a purchase from across the oceans, which is awesome! But if you thought e-commerce has reached its top, I am delighted to tell you that it is still developing to make life even easier.

I am talking about Augmented Commerce as in the application of the latest technology augmented reality in E-commerce.

Despite all the great facts about online shopping, we can’t deny the inconveniences coming along with it post delivery. For example, products that do not resemble their online photos or clothes that do not much their sizes or defective items that were shipped because oh well they’ve been paid anyways. Products’ info margins and 360 photos do not guarantee customer satisfaction anymore.  

AR, though, changes the equation. By blending virtual layers with our physical reality, AR enhances the visualization of online products and makes distant shopping even more helpful.

It creates an interactive shopping experience

It is hard to imagine how will online products look like in real life especially when it comes to clothes. Many factors are under examination: the color, the material, the size, the shape that is never truly predicted. Trying to imagine all of that and make a decision of purchase is a burden for online shoppers, but AR technology takes it off their shoulders. With its body & face detection and 3D conversion, AR can make you see what your clothes will look like when you wear them. It will help you figure out where to put the new sofa in the living room or where to hang the painting you count on buying for your house.

If you want to go even further, you can also customize the items in your cart. With AR’s digital layers you can make all the modifications that you wish and see how they would turn out.

Those scenarios would have sounded like fantasies a few years ago but today they are real thanks to augmented reality.

See: 5 ways AR reshapes your life

What is in it for retailers?  

Retailers who allow AR experiences for their customers benefit from many advantages:

1/   They are offering a more personal and compelling shopping experience that increases the appeal of their brands, hence widen their reach and increment their conversion rate.

2/  They are providing a benign commercial environment with AR’s effects. For example, triggering descriptive video animations and adding clear graphic 3D visuals help better showcase and understand complex product features. This decreases customer’s uncertainty and reduces return rates. It also leads to more loyalty and engagement and ensures retailers’ credibility.

Related: The key to your marketing success

 

Augmented Reality was envisioned revolutionary and was proven right!

So if you are a retailer or a digital marketer then you better enhance your AR engagement and make it among the pioneers of the new digital era. Start by subscribing to Augmania and discover how promising our augmented reality platform is for your business.

http://www.augmania.com/

See you next time!

Make 3D your daily technology for better marketing

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Remember the big fuss about James Cameron’s Avatar?

When the movie was released it became an instant hit. A tremendous part of the success was its amazing 3D technology. Everyone was crazy about how interactive the technology was. It instantly gained a huge focus and got the world far-seeing about its future impacts.

One wonders though; what is so great about this technology that gets people on their edges each time it has a new update?

The answer is very simple:

3D images look spectacular! They make you feel as if you are part of them. They are very vivid and have a direct effect on your brain which results in making them catchier than regular 2D images.

It is no wonder that people usually stop at the sight of 3-dimensional visuals.  The way our eyes and brains react to it becomes a matter of subconsciousness. We tend to get more attracted to anything that stimulates our senses, which is why the technology got so trendy from the first time it was introduced.

 

If you are a digital marketer then such technology should get you on your toes. Meaning: You need to take advantage of it!  

How?

Easy; we all know that visuals are a pillar for digital marketing. Any content you wish to publish on social media should have an image or a video that will trigger attention and get you more clicks. Knowing that 3D visuals get the most out of people’s attention, it is basic to say that using it for promotional purposes is a must.

Besides competition to make visuals stand out got rough along the way.

Know more: Make your ads stand out 

Every time there is a new campaign, marketers hire designers to make the perfect posters and the most creative 2-dimensional images. What you need to realize though, is that 2D drawing won’t be a standard of communication or expression anymore. it won’t attract the future tech-minded audience any longer. Our social platforms are becoming more interactive by the click. And to cope with that you need to generate more engagement from your viewers.

Now, this is where 3D technology comes handy.

 In matter of fact, after a series of 3-dimensional advertising campaigns, it has been proven that sharing content in graphical 3D visuals highers up your reach and increases your advertising efficiency in 2 basic ways:

  1.   It helps viewers feel a stronger feeling of presence (one of the tricks of the technology: it gives you the feeling that you are physically interacting with the objects you are seeing)
  2.   It helps viewers better remember the displayed products and increases brand awareness by enhancing their perception of it. which is actually a consequence of the first effect of 3D visuals.

Bottom line, 3D visuals are one of the keys to skyrocket your digital marketing

Related:  The key to your marketing success

 

But there is one problem that usually stands in marketers’ way, which is the fact that 3D technology is not very accessible. The creation of 3-dimensional visuals is limited to very skilled designers. The good news though is that emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) are here to save the day!

Indeed AR platforms such as Augmania are democratizing the 3D feature and allowing digital marketers to overcome technical barriers of advertising in 3 dimensions. At Augmania we have been working on this for years. We have studied the emergence of graphical 3D visualization in advertising and we tried to measure its impact on customer engagement and brand visibility. We then created our 3D animation feature and allowed marketers to bring their products to life by communicating with their audience in a 3D world. No headsets are necessary, no special skills are required! We do the hard work and create 3D visuals that best describes your product to share all over the media.

So, If you are interested in revolutionizing your advertising with the power of 3D then subscribe here and start your demo with an amazing augmented 3D experience!

Oh and stay tuned for more hacks that will skyrocket your marketing!