More Augmented Business Cards

A couple of months ago, the ARSphere was gushing over James Alliban’s augmented business card (the one with the pixelated talking 3d face).

That nice little creative work led Alliban to recently launch Augmatic, a company that provides augmented reality services, and yes, among them is a personalized augmented business card.

Of course, Alliban is not the only one in the augmented business-cards-business. We have previously featured Toxin Labs. This week sees another implementation, by one Burton Posey, which can only be described as cute (of course, you can choose a more menacing avatar):

Says Posey:

This is an idea I’d been kicking around in my head since February. I wanted to find a way that a company could deliver a catchy identity for themselves. Avatars, be it the Mii’s on the Nintendo Wii, or an Xbox Live Avatar, have become extensions of the people who use them.

You can try his implementation over here. I wonder if any of the guys at ISMAR 09 is going to have augmented business cards.

Augmented Reality? I’m Loving It

Or used to, I’m currently in the trough of disillusionment. But never mind that, here’s how McDonald’s Italy chose to promote their new hamburger. Giving new meaning to Bruce Sterling claim that current AR is a bit cheesy.

Try it here.
Previously – Find Nearest McDonald’s via AR and Augmented Burger King.

Whatchoo Augmentin’ ’bout, Willis?


Obviously the end of the world came, and no one told me. The signs are all here:
1. Canadian based New York Fries is celebrating 25 years of selling, well, fries.
2. To commemorate the occasion, they looked for an eighties icon.
3. They chose Gary Coleman.
4. And made an augmented reality application, on Facebook, were you shake Gary Coleman by shaking a marker, making him drop his fries, and tell you your fortune.

You can try it yourself, here, and find more details at AdFreak, while I’m looking for the nearest nuclear shelter*.

* Yeah, I’m mean, no point commenting about it. I don’t have anything against Mr. Coleman, my sarcasm is targeted solely at the novelty AR application.

Behind the Scenes of Best Buy’s AR Campaign

Yesterday I mentioned Best Buy’s AR campaign in the weekly linkfest. The campaign itself is not that exciting, just your typical marker based advertisement. Here’s the obligatory video of some guys on Youtube playing around with it:

However, this time around we get to peek behind the scenes of the campaign thanks to Advertising Age, which held an interview with Spencer Knisely, director-brand identity, print and design at Best Buy. It turns out that while the print ad pushing the site had a circulation of about 43 million people, only 6500 of them have tried the AR application on its first day. Surprisingly, that’s double the number Best Buy have predicted.

Ad Age: Can you tell what the real business result — or conversion — of this was?

Mr. Knisely: We don’t know that yet. We saw comparatively high click-through — 12% — to other pages: the Twelpforce page, the Next Class computing page or to the dot-com site for the Toshiba computer itself. But aggregated, a 12% click-through on an experience like that is fairly decent.

More here.

AR Strippers, Oh My!

Well, you knew this day will come sooner or later. As any other media before it, porn was destined to reach augmented reality. But I bet you could never guess that the first semi-erotic application will be created to promote a movie.
Apparently, Gamer‘s last attempt at augmented reality advertisement didn’t bring the masses, so they launched this site. All for the better I guess.

The application lets you select between four exotic dancers, and about five dances for each dancer. I would have written about it earlier, but being a thorough journalist as I am, I had to test all the available options.
[via akihabaranews.com

Augmented DJ by Wrigley

The good guys from UK based creative agency Exposure and the Australian AR wizards from Boffswana show us that using augmented reality in a campaign, doesn’t necessarily means having a “look at the novelty” brain dead application (unlike, say, the Always one).
For the coming launch of Wrigley’s 5 brand of gums in France, they have created an application that lets users mix together club-music via AR markers. There are three markers representing gum flavors, each linked to a certain track, and one master marker to rule them all. The markers’ distance from the master marker and their relative angles determine the volume and effects for each track.

Once you have become experienced in the ways of the augmented DJ, you can record your own mix, upload it to the site’s gallery, and even embed it in your blog. Now, since I’m tone-deaf, and my laptop is not strong enough to register four markers at once, I’m going to embed a creation by some other guy (sorry Games Alfresco and RSS readers, no embedding for you):

Now, I’m well aware that the idea of an augmented reality DJ set is not a new one. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago we’ve learned about the ARDJ art project. And this application is not perfect, as it requires a good computer and setting to work, and the embedding issue could be solved if videos were hosted on Youtube. Nevertheless, we should recommend Exposure and Boffswana for not going with the easy solution, and creating a very interactive experience (only Living Sasquatch is in this league, also done by Boffswana). Now, lets see more campaigns of this kind instead of the other “novelty” kind.

Augmented Reality, Now with Wings

Proctor & Gamble has launched a new AR campaign to promote some kind of Always “Infinity Pads”.

Since I’ve offended to many people in the last few weeks I’ll keep mum this time. However, the kind people at AgencySpy, who are also responsible for uploading the above video to Youtube, had this to say:

This campaign is complete crap. …
P&G pitched the AR piece to you ladies as magic, which of course it isn’t. This is the kind of advertising that reiterates how ineffective “look at me” work truly is. It’s also annoying and dilutes the power of this new tool for those who have salient ideas for how to use it.

Even more amazing is that this is not even the first AR campaign for feminine product to have an AR ad. Kotex (in Turkey) had one a few months ago.

via AgencySpy where you can also read the ridiculous press release by Proctor & Gamble.

Nerds Augment Themselves to become Optimus Prime

For some reason, one of my most successful posts, was the one about Total Immersion’s promotion for Transformers 2, where everyone had the chance to virtually try an Optimus Prime mask.
Now, a bunch of nerds (no other word to describe them, sorry), have taken their Transformers fandom to a whole new level. If you are a pregnant woman, younger than 15 or suffer from heart arrhythmia, please don’t push the play button. You see, AR entering the mainstream is not always a good thing:

Mattel Launches Augmented Toys at Comic Con

Barbie maker Mattel, and augmented reality provider Total Immersion, have joined forces to bring the public the first retail toys that are AR enhanced (or so says their press release). Unveiled today at Comic-Con 2009, each product in Mattel’s line of action figures and vehicles based on James Cameron coming film Avatar will come with a –

3-D web tag, called an i-TAG, which consumers can “scan” using a home computer’s webcam. Scanning the i-TAG will reveal special content onscreen unique to the corresponding product. Exact content varies for each item, but could include biographical information, additional images and animated models of the figures. When the i-TAG for deluxe figures, vehicles or creatures are placed under a webcam, animated 3-D models will “come alive” through engaging, evading or defending moves. Place two i-TAGs from the “Battle Pack” together and the 3-D images will interact with each other.

3d web tag? Sounds impressive, but thanks to this next video clip, we can all see it’s nothing more than a marker card:

Still, it looks cool and I’m quite sure it’s gonna be a hit this Christmas season (unless the film itself bombs). Pity they used such a convoluted term for it.

press release, via I4U news.

Cool Augmented Business Card from Toxin Labs

While the whole web is gushing over James Alliban‘s augmented business card, I find the next implementation even more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, Alliban’s card is cool, but this one is a bit more useful:

It was created by Jonas Jäger, and more importantly, he doesn’t plan to keep the technology to himself. Jäger plans to release a front-end application that will let you create your own “presentation” that will be displayed when your business card is flashed in front of a web camera. It uses a QR code to identify your card from others, and an AR marker to have FLARToolKit something to get a fix on. All in all, it answers Thomas Carpenter’s call to create a service for these kind of augmented business cards, and really looks good.

(Augmented Business Card at Toxin Labs)

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