The true potential of AR is revealed when it provides us with the information we need, at exactly the right time and place.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is preparing to reopen safely, by introducing Augmented Reality (AR) technology as a way for employees to successfully and effortlessly navigate buildings.
“We’re introducing AR features to help these employees access and navigate buildings, such as the Innovation Center,” said Parrish Gust, Business Development Manager at Twisted Rope, the Digital Development Agency that created the smartphone app. “Staff members can hold their smartphones up to designated posters and signs to scan for more information. Everyone is anxious about COVID-19, so we are helping to make the reopening process smoother and safer by providing this mobile device driven technology – it’s as easy pointing the phone at a poster and it comes to life by delivering a video message.”
As Gust described the process, I couldn’t help but imagine the AR possibilities for other applications. Unlike QR Codes that never seemed to enter into our daily lives in the US (for the most part), I could see this AR technology taking off once it really caught on – postcards, album covers, wedding invitations, stickers, for example. Gust agreed, by sharing some successful AR campaigns that he was aware of, such as this example from 19 Crimes (mind officially blown, by the way). Then there’s this one by Jack Daniels. This AR technology is not exclusive to tech developers, everyone is invited to create their own experiences.
While these are awesome examples of over the top Augmented Reality efforts, we have yet to see the technology readily introduced into our immediate surroundings. “One of the best things about this AR technology is that it is updatable over time,” Gust explained. “That means that you don’t have to go back to the drawing board, you can simply update the app program. For example, per the Medical Campus, if there is a certain number of staff members allowed in a room one day, and that number changes, all we have to do is update the program with the current information.”
As Gust gave me the lowdown on the Medical Campus “Safe Reopen” campaign, I couldn’t stop thinking about the “Harry Potter newspaper effect” that he was describing, which will one day be ever-present in our lives, I believe. The technology converts inanimate posters into moving screens that tell stories. Unlike QR Codes, this will most likely be the future of marketing.
“Newspapers and pictures come to life,” Gust told me. “We’ve had access to this technology for a while. We are starting to see more of a ‘true use’ adoption now, instead of viewing AR as a novelty. These experience are more video based – it’s the bridge from print to digital. We’re excited to introduce this technology to the BNMC – this is the perfect application because everything is changing day to day, and nobody can touch anything because of the virus. Smartphones coupled with the AReveryware platform provide people with a safe, efficient, and effective way for people to navigate their surroundings.”
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