Augmented Reality is More Than a Selfie Filter

By May 13, 2020May 4th, 2021No Comments

WebAR transports users beyond the selfie filter, applying the camera lens to add a lightweight digital layer to the physical world.

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Google AR brings virtual animals to your real world during coronavirus lockdown.

How We Experience the Spatial Web

The Spatial Web is here and integrated within the most advanced toolkits such as ARCore, ARKit, Unity, Unreal Engine, Facebook, Spark AR and Snapchat Lens Studio. Powered by next generation game engines and content developer kits, the Spatial Web has already flowed into the hands of the users. Fans are sharing and interacting with the medium en masse to the extent that they are the content creators.

In March this year, Snapchat announced that 75% of their 360 million users interact with AR on a daily basis. Their world lens has brought us a first glimpse of the Spatial Web by layering fun and imaginative digital content into our everyday social exchanges. This popularity of AR has led to explosive growth for brands and creators alike. One Instagram creator, @Arnopartissimo, created an AR effect that earned millions of views and grew his followers from 6,000 to 600,000 in the span of a few days. This 100X increase in followers demonstrates the power of AR to engage and capture audiences.

Instagram first introduced filters to our digital generation in 2010, and in 2011, Snapchat took the concept to a whole new level with AR lenses. In 2020, AR is the norm and users want more. 5G’s mobile edge computing networks will drive greater access to even richer AR experiences with unimaginable utility.

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Bridging the Physical and Digital World

WebAR removes the friction between user and experience, enabling a device’s camera to become a window into a new digital world. It’s a lightweight layer that requires no app download- a simple point and shoot interface that users have been acquainted with for decades- a return to the way we naturally interact with the physical world.

What’s changed the camera today is the way our image recognition software can integrate into existing hardware, enabling lenses to understand optically where they are in the world and the dynamics of sophisticated human-digital interaction. These advancements in image recognition are delivering contextualized experiences within the world around us, which are more interactive and immersive than the simple facial filters we are accustomed to today.

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In retail, users can hold their phone up to a shop window, the camera can recognize the image of particular brands, items, colors and materials, and pull up relevant information to facilitate the decision making and purchasing process. In entertainment, posters and print material can be optimized by building exciting 3D content into flat surfaces that can be scanned and brought to life.

Our 3D world is driven by 2D content- lacking an entire dimension of interactivity, engagement, and knowledge sharing. Now that robust image recognition is powering the Spatial Web, we are only on the cusp of discovering and creating new experiences for and with our global audiences. Already, business results from increased product evaluation and sharing, post-purchase brand engagement, and increased retention and loyalty have inspired companies across industry verticals to invest in AR marketing.

Case Study- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

When digital marketing agency Pretty Big Monster worked with Walt Disney Studios for their 360 degree interactive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker WebAR experience, this was realized through Geenee’s image recognition (IR) software.

Anyone can easily access the WebAR experience by simply clicking this link and using the mobile camera to scan any print or digital image of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster or online thumbnail. After being scanned in seconds, users are prompted to begin their adventure which will take them virtually into battle. Each time the user moves their phone they fly to a different vantage point of the battle, complete with sound effects. While the country, and the world, is homebound during this time, this brings a little magic indoors for diehard Star Wars fans, and those discovering Star Wars for the first time.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker WebAR experience produced by digital marketing agency Pretty Big Monster, powered by Geenee’s Image Recognition (IR) software.Try it.

Consumer Behavior

This new generation of the internet will transform the world into an interactive 3D whiteboard where brands, influencers and individuals can engage with one another in a way that feels more natural as a 3D interface that complements our 3D world. Unfolding before our eyes is a consumer-driven demand to bring on-screen characters to life in immersive 360 gaming experiences. This movement is unlocking the untapped value of print media through activating and interacting within a limitless 3D reality. Infuencers and audiences alike will become fatigued with facial filters, ready to engage with the full potential of WebAR.

In the not so distant future we will be using AR glasses and contact lenses just as commonly as we use mobile phones today, and desktops just decades ago. AR is a tool that has already become a daily communication medium for many, and WebAR will accelerate Augmented Reality’s adoption for the masses.