Our Augmented Reality Showreel

Catalyst have been fortunate to produce Augmented content, Apps and Experiences for Agencies and Brands in Australia and the UK.

Vinta Rolls out AR Augmented Reality Experience in Centres for Easter

Shoppers will only need to download the free app onto a smartphone or tablet and then get hunting. The fun starts when the Easter Bunny leaps out of his hole from a floor sticker and then shows off his dance moves. 

What is Augmented Reality and how is it going to change the world?

Augmented reality (AR) is technology that superimposes a digital layer of information on top of the physical world. Compared to Virtual Reality which transports the user into another world or reality,  Augmented Reality overlays digital content on top of the physical world, adding 2D or 3D layers on top of real world objects or locations, allowing the user to unlock additional information and turn the physical world into digital media the can interact with.

AR can be experienced through either specialised wearable AR headwear such as Microsoft’s HoloLens or Google Glass. Alternatively, Smart Phones can be used for AR via their in-built camera – perhaps the most well know example of Augment Reality is the Pokemon Go App which has been downloaded over 15 million times.

Augmented Reality Right Now

Wearable AR works by displaying images and videos onto the user’s lens screen via a small projector. It can respond to voice commands and can play sounds that match the images being projected. These kinds of wearable devices still have a way to go but are an exciting hint at where the technology is heading.

Augmented Reality and Smart Phones

It is smart phones that are offering consumers the most accessible window into the virtual world. With location services, a camera, and screen, smart phones offer much of the technology needed to power an AR experience. However, the real power of a phone isn’t its tech but that everyone has one. For those uncomfortable with wearable technology phones are an extremely accessible and natural way for users to interact with AR. These devices will get faster and more powerful as people get better at manufacturing every single component of them and we anticipate that phones will continue to bolster AR until people are more comfortable with wearable devices.

Current Usage of Augmented Reality

Marketing

AR offers a fantastic way for advertisers and marketers to bring their campaigns and content to life. For example, companies like Layer have released services that allow restaurants to add augmented animations to their menus whilst L’Oreal’s brand Maybelline ran print ads within magazines that allowed readers to virtually try on their new range of nail polish colours through AR animations.

Find out more about the Augmented Reality App that Catalyst VR designed and developed for the Vinta Property Group as part of innovative Easter marketing campaigns at The Strand and Marketplace Shopping Centres

Stargazing

The Star Walk app on IOS has over 10 million downloads yet it is such a simple concept. Using the inbuilt gyroscope and location services within an IPhone they have designed an AR experience that can accurately display the current location of the planets and stars the phone’s camera is pointing at – check out Star Walk here

When participating in the VR Station participants receive an email including the 360 video. This allows participants to replay the VR experience on their smart phones (IOS or Android). This also allows particpants to quickly and easily share the VR content with family and friends via email or on Social Media. Which a huge appetite for 360 videos this feature of the VR Station enables Clients to increase the reach an engagement that their 360 videos receive.

Participants receive a custom branded email which clients can customise with their own logos, colours and messages. Clients can include additional marketing and promotional messages in this email with an open rate much higher than industry averages.

The Health and Fitness

Augmented reality might be key to overcoming the obesity epidemic as we move our screens and games outside and gain entertainment outdoors like we used to. It is no secret that we spend a lot longer sitting than we are supposed to but the world behind the screen is an amazing place that captivates our imagination and our time. As AR tech improves, working in an office, like I am now, might involve moving around a room of virtual white boards and excel spread sheets that hang overhead, encouraging you to get up out of your seat and walk around. Already, there are some novel apps that have things like zombies chase you on a smart phone to encourage you to go that extra kilometre when running and there are so many other ways we can incorporate AR into our everyday lives and activities to push us further and keep us motivated. Imagine a workout where you are encouraged to crawl through a forest fighting on your hands and knees in search of small woodland creatures, or climb the steps of an ancient temple in your living room rather than your standard burpees and steps.

Medical

The advances in AR for medical applications are really interesting. Students are using the tech to practice surgery in a controlled environment, and the visualisations can explain complex medical conditions to patients. This probably isn’t surprising, but we learn better from a 3D simulation in real time than we can from words alone.

Gaming

There are countless games that use AR appearing in the IOS and Google play stores. Ingress and Pokémon Go are two of the best known and both require players to move around in the real world and complete certain tasks or actions to progress in the game. A game focused AR wearable device originally called Space Glasses but later changed to Meta Pro is probably the best contender for an Augmented reality gamers experience. It has been described as Google Glass on steroids, and while it is only in the development phase, if this headset can do half the things it promises, it will be amazing.

Tourism

AR systems developed by Total Immersion is being used to improve the experience of museum goers. This same company produced an app for eBay that lets customers try clothes on in AR before they buy. Is there a distant future where we all wear digital clothes coming? There are endless AR applications for teaching and demonstrating topics, places and times in history. In an age where digital technology is driving consumer behaviour and tastes, institutions like libraries and museums are falling out of favour. It is argued that everything you could ever want to know or see is on the internet, so why go to a place to view an exhibition? Could the answer be AR? Could museums offer attendees the opportunity to climb on an AR rocket that takes you on an accelerated trip to the moon, or on the back of a giant dinosaur. Clio is a great example of something that exists right now. It is a project lead by Marshal University that allows people to pin historical photos to real world places. You can see a historical battle on what is now an empty field, or a protest on what are now quiet streets.

What’s Next for Augmented Reality

The envelope will continue to be pushed with VR and AR are predicted to be a 108-billion-dollar industry by 2020. Currently, AR is taking a back seat to VR because the technology required is a little more difficult although we expect that there will be more headsets and head displays released this year. A current challenge lies in societies dislike of wearable technology however this will probably encourage the growth of apps for phones and other mobile devices which will continue to advance and become more powerful.

We envision a world where the name and number of a building will pop up to help us navigate a crowded street, where people hang digital art on their walls, and no trip to Tokyo will be complete without watching an AR Godzilla destroy the city from a tall building. If this is the kind of tech that gets you excited then it is literally right around the corner and you won’t be asking ‘what if?’ for much longer.