Retail Marketing with Augmented Reality: How To Make Your Food Retail Marketing TastiAR – Part II

In Part I, we discussed examples of augmented reality best practice in any general retail environment. This post will now address Part II: How to tackle retail challenges, specifically food retail marketing, with augmented reality. Much has been said about how technology can help bridge the growing gap between retail and digital, however this will be taken to a new level through the incorporation of AR.

In Part I, we discussed examples of augmented reality best practice in any general retail environment. This post will now address Part II: How to tackle retail challenges, specifically food retail marketing, with augmented reality. Much has been said about how technology can help bridge the growing gap between retail and digital, however this will be taken to a new level through the incorporation of AR.

If used correctly, AR marketing will do wonders for your business. Not only does it promote the notion that your business is at the forefront of technology, but it also creates a more efficient, effective and engaging experience for your customers.

Aside from the previously mentioned points in Part I, the following are specific ways to use augmented reality in food retail marketing.

Recipe Calculator
An obstacle that many tend to face when cooking a meal, especially for a dinner party, is knowing the necessary amount of ingredients for a recipe. Augmented reality offers a solution to this.

When a customer sees a delicious recipe in a supermarket magazine, they can scan the page and select the number of people to cook for. This would display the exact amount of ingredients needed to suit the party. Not only does this make the whole shopping experience easier, but it saves time, money and prevents waste.

Suggest A Meal
Have a favourite vegetable? Customers can use the Layar app on a particular product, and see complementary products that pair well with it. For instance, scanning a page with a red pepper will bring up delicious compatible ingredients, like sun-dried tomatoes and chorizo.

This allows individuals to spice up their usual recipes and ingredient pairs in an innovative and fun manner. Similarly, this encourages customers who have little experience in the kitchen to explore and experiment with new foods and products.

Helpful GIFs
You should also embed helpful GIF animations into your food publications. For example, scanning a recipe page with onions as an ingredient will lead to an animation demonstrating a method of cutting onions without tearing up. This would help those with little experience in the kitchen to master the basic cooking skills, essentially making the whole process simple and fun. Additionally, it adds value to the AR content and diversifies it from promo videos and discounts.

South African food magazine, Food & Home Entertaining, is a prime augmented reality case study. For their Christmas issue, scanning each page provided customers with animations on how to recreate delectable treats – making the festival season that much more fun and interactive.

Price Comparisons
Shoppers like to know that they are getting the best price for what they are buying, and augmented reality is an ideal way to demonstrate that. You should incorporate an HTML widget which clearly displays the price of a specific product compared to other brands, which will easily sway consumer decisions. This would allow your business to position your brand as more affordable than others, thus establishing yourself as the price-leader. It also adds to transparency and openness in communication with stakeholders.

Special Deals Around You
The best two combinations to customers are “food” and “special deals”. If you’re running special deals or discounts on specific products – advertise it! This would promote customer reach and push customers to your store, giving you an advantage over your competitors. This would make it both more efficient and intuitive for shoppers to find the best deals at any given moment, wherever they may be.

Stay tuned for the last part of this blog series discussing augmented reality best practice. Part III will address how to use augmented reality to increase social interactions and brand loyalty, as well as trigger customer feedback flow and communication.

Interested in adding a layer of augmented reality to your campaign? Contact us here.

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Layar SDK Update: Custom Location and New Callbacks

Good news! We’ve recently updated the Layar SDK as we continue to make it as easy as possible to embed your own Augmented Reality (AR) experiences into your own iOS and Android apps.

Good news! We’ve recently updated the Layar SDK as we continue to make it as easy as possible to embed your own Augmented Reality (AR) experiences into your own iOS and Android apps.

Having the freedom to customize your AR experience to fit your brand and your users’ needs has always been a cornerstone of the Layar SDK, and with this latest update we aim to continue that tradition. So what’s new in the latest version?

Custom Location Provider
You no longer need to rely solely on the built-in GPS of the user’s device to get location data. Now you can hook into any location provider that you choose. For example, you can use iBeacons to create a more accurate location-based AR experience when indoors.

A note to developers: the Layar SDK simply allows for a custom location provider but does not include any alternative providers itself, that part is up to you!

More Custom Callbacks
We’ve added more callbacks that give you more control over the look-and-feel of your experience. For Geo Layers, you can now opt to remove the compass and the messages shown at the top which usually pertain to the number of results found nearby.

These changes make it even easier to create your own customized AR experience, whether that means creating a custom look or using advanced custom location providers to make a more engaging experience.

If you’re an existing SDK user, check your inbox for instructions on updating your SDK. Or if you’re interested in using the SDK, you can try it now for free!

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Scandinavian Celebrity Magazine SE og HØR Launches Layar SDK-Powered App

Danish readers of SE og HØR – a television guide and celebrity news magazine – can now do far more than just "see and hear" as the publication’s name suggests.

With the easy-to-use Layar SDK, the publishers have launched Mit SE og HØR, a free mobile application for iOS and Android that brings the pages of the 75-year-old magazine to life with Augmented Reality.

Readers can gain access to exclusive videos, background stories, photo galleries, interactive polls, contests and much more simply by scanning the pages of the magazine. Extra digital content jumps off the page, providing readers with an engaging interactive experience.

"This is the next step in our development strategy to ensure that SE og HØR will continue to be the market leader in the future," says Editor in Chief Niels Pinborg. "This means that we expand our magazine without going up in pages or price. And that means that we can pamper our most loyal customers."

Not only is the editorial content of magazine interactive, but commercial content as well. The magazine says advertisers were eager to create more engaging digital experiences for their ads.

"It is clear that the ability to convert from print to purchase without having to leave the couch is quite interesting for our commercial partners, so here I see fairly large opportunities," says Pinborg.

The Mit SE og HØR app is available now for free on iOS and Android in Denmark.

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New Geo Layer Helps Volunteers Find Work in Their Area

VCA Amsterdam Layer Augmented Reality

The Vrijwilligers Centrale Amsterdam (Amsterdam Volunteer Center), is an organization in Amsterdam that helps people find volunteer work anywhere in the city.

Now the organization is making it even easier for people to find volunteer positions by launching their own location-based geo layer on the Layar App. By launching the VCA layer on their mobile device, workers can see the location of job opportunities appear around them with the Layar App’s Augmented Reality features.

"Very few people are aware of the large availability of volunteer jobs and how many people actually do volunteer work," said Simone Timmer, Communication Advisor for the VCA. "Augmented reality is new and innovative, and Layar was a great way to visualise the proximity of volunteer work in Amsterdam."

Creating a Geo Layer to benefit the cause was the idea of Geerten van Hooff, the founder of online media agency Taf Media, who also implemented it as a volunteer, Timmer says.

The VCA’s layer features over 1700 positions in the city, and in 2015 the organization helped over 7500 people find volunteer work.

To try it yourself, if you’re in Amsterdam, open the Layar App and search for "VCA".

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Augmented and Virtual Reality Investment Reach Around $700 Million in 2015

Augmented and Virtual Reality Investment Reach Around $700 Million in 2015



Investments in the augmented and virtual reality industry have soared in the past one year. According to Augmented/Virtual Reality Report 2016 by Digi-Capital, $686 million of investments were made in AR/VR in 2015. The investment growth in this department has been for 6 straight quarters. In Q4 2015 alone, a quarter of a billion dollars were invested. The rate is six times compared to that made in mid-2014. The numbers are quite impressive as a large part of investment for Magic Leap in 2014 and 2015 have not been included in the report.

Where Have the Investments Been Made?

The investments have been made in sectors where long and short term opportunities are there for investors. They include AR/VR games, videos, services/solutions and head-mounted displays. AR/VR consumer apps, advertising, tech, etc. saw low investment last year as they were in early stage. Now, investors are well aware about their potential. This means, in 2016, we can expect more number of investments.

Read Also – Here Comes an Augmented Reality Interface for your Audi

The report also stated that $311 million of AR/VR M&A exits were made in 2015. This was half the level of early investments made in 2015. AR/VR investments made from 2011 to 2015 have given back 128% of all the money that have already been invested.

Another fact that the report stressed upon was that some big acquisitions are in line this year as “major players try to leapfrog the competition”

Next Big Shift

The next big shift to AR/VR could occur in 2020 where its growth could reach $120 billion. This will be the best time for entrepreneurs in this VR/AR space, to offer something special. Things are getting better for those who like augmented, virtual reality or mixed reality. The report has quite a bullish outlook regarding the growth of virtual or augmented reality in the future.

We can only wait and watch till we get a clear idea how much the AR/VR market is growing in the coming days.



What’s your thought?

What do you think about this change in AR/VR industry? Have you experienced any of these technologies yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Here Comes an Augmented Reality Interface for your Audi

Here Comes an Augmented Reality Interface for your Audi



MIT Media Lab teamed up with Audi to display augmented reality use cases in real life for automotive industry. They have developed the Reality Editor Interface. With this new tool, drivers will be able to interact and connect with their car in an interactive way. The functionality of the physical objects can be manipulated by the users using the Reality Editor Interface.

For instance, in case of a vehicle, a driver can control his vehicle just by pointing his smartphone’s camera at any object.

Use of The Reality Editor in Audi

MIT had the aim of creating a technology which provides the user maximum control of any object. The process makes use of the ability to manipulate objects using their muscle memory and spatial coordination.



In Audi, the Interface can be used in different ways. If a driver wants to turn on the light in their car, they can do so before entering it using this technology. With the tool, the driver can point at the car and just draw a line so that the lights can be turned on. As the command is recorded, the driver can make the action as many times he wants.

Read Also – Microsoft HoloLens Battery Life Lasts Only Five and Half Hours

Use Beyond Cars

The same technology can be used for a user’s office or home. Valentin Huen, project lead said “in our research, we identified simple universal rules common to all physical objects (Direct Mapping; Learn, Setup and Operate; How to connect everything). The Reality Editor is built upon the rules of these actions, allowing you to place intuitive and powerful technology into the hands of the person using it.”

HTML5 is the basis of the visual interface. It allows the app to change the web-browsing technologies which are used to show the content the user is seeing, into an interface for the physical space, asset or object. A set of coding standards develop the connection between objects.

Companies can download the Reality Editor from the App Store and can develop their own integrations using Open Hybrid, the open-source platform for the project. The next generation of high-tech products can be created with these tools.

With the Reality Editor, Audi drivers, can just point their mobile’s camera on their vehicles and create different control commands and drive them based on the commands.  So, wait for an interactive driving experience in the near future.

What do you think?

What’s your take on the use of augmented reality in Audi? Are you going to try it out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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HTC to Separate their Virtual Reality Division?

HTC to Separate their Virtual Reality Division?



If reports from Focus Taiwan are to be believed, HTC might be planning to separate its virtual reality division. A new company will be developed and will be completely owned by HTC. In the beginning, Cher Wang will be the chairwoman of the company.

After some unsuccessful mobile launches, HTC is in a bad condition. With this spinoff, it might be able to revive its position. After the news of the spinoff, HTC’s stock rose 5 percent in Taiwan. If HTC carries out this plan, we might not see HTC’s branding on future virtual reality headsets.

Reasons for the Possible Separation

As mentioned above, one of the reasons for the separation, is to remove any links of the VR device from the smartphone industry. HTC is struggling in the Android market and the revenue is declining. By separating the upcoming VR efforts from the smartphone section, they would be at a lesser risk of collapsing. The company wouldn’t want to have a successful VR product only to be brought down because the sale of HTC-branded smartphones has diminished.  With the separation, HTC will own the new company but it will have a different revenue source. So, if the parent company fails, it won’t affect the new company.



Read Also – Virtual Reality Market Could Boom by 2025: Goldman Sachs

Another reason could be that HTC will have a high opportunity to come up as a strong brand. VR is yet to go mainstream. However, with the technology and potential of Vive and with the gradual progress of the VR industry, it could turn out to be a leader in the VR market.

With a separate company, HTC could have dedicated workforce to fully focus on the development of more amazing virtual reality products. This could grow the confidence of employees and they would not leave for competitor companies.

A Gamble to Take

While the VR section might benefit from this separate company, it might be a risk for HTC, as the company’s valuation might decrease. It could lose one of its most important assets and investors could sell their assets as a result. For instance, with eBay’s split from PayPal, the stock price of eBay has been halved, even though PayPal has got more new opportunities.

Same goes for HTC. If the virtual reality section finds success, its stock price might rise, as long as HTC maintains a controlling stake on the new company. It’s a gamble that HTC has to take if it wants its Vive headset and future VR products to be successful and not get affected by the increasingly competitive mobile industry.

What’s your thought?

What do you think about the possible spinoff? Will it help HTC get back its market? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Microsoft HoloLens Battery Life Lasts Only Five and Half Hours

Microsoft HoloLens Battery Life Lasts Only Five and Half Hours



Many new facts have come up regarding Microsoft HoloLens, the augmented reality headset which was unveiled last year. At an event in Tel Aviv, Bruce Harris, Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, said that the battery of HoloLens will last for only five and a half hours on a single charge. However, if you use it intensively, it will only last for two and half hours.

Harris also stated that the AR headset will be completely wireless and the device only depends on the inbuilt battery for power.

HoloLens Different from Other Virtual Reality Devices

HoloLens is different than its virtual reality counterparts like PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The VR headset by Microsoft projects holograms in real life environment of the user, thereby letting them experience holograms to rupture through the ceiling and walls of their room. They will also be able to fight aliens and robots in their living room.

There are other applications as well, which consist of developing your own holograms inside the HoloStudio and getting a 3D print of the end result.

Harris also revealed at the event regarding the headset that each HoloLens will have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. This will let users connect with others and play against each other, even without being connected by a smartphone or laptop.

Any universal Windows 10 app can also be run using this headset.

Other Limitations

Apart from the low battery life, there are other limitations of the headset, like limited field of view. Harris said that the size of the field of view is similar to watching a 15-inch screen, just two feet away from your face.

The company has said that it plans to expand its scope when it will be in its developmental process.  

More details are yet to be available. The pricing and the exact sale date of the device is not yet known. Developer’s kits are expected to start shipping within the next two months. The price of the kits will be $3,000.



What’s your take?

What do you think about Microsoft HoloLens? Are you going to buy the HoloLens? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Virtual Reality Market Could Boom by 2025: Goldman Sachs

Virtual Reality Market Could Boom by 2025: Goldman Sachs



Virtual reality industry is still in its infancy. However, Goldman Sachs, the American multinational investment banking firm, has predicted that by 2025, the industry will see a boom. Heather Bellini, analyst at Goldman Sachs said that the VR industry could reach $80 billion by 2025 and it will go beyond entertainment and gaming, which are the two main aspects of virtual reality right now.

Estimates by Goldman

On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs released a research note which predicted that by 2025, $35 billion will be the revenue coming from software, whereas hardware revenue will be at $45 billion. The present hardware market for notebooks is at $111 billion while $14 billion revenue comes from the video game console market, as per estimates made by Goldman Sachs.

Bellini said “It’s really going to change, I think, many aspects of our life and be completely disruptive. 2016 isn’t going to be the year we see all of this play out, but certainly over the next 10 years, it’s going to take off.”

Goldman stated in the note that much of the growth will come from entertainment and gaming. But interior designers, car makers and retailers will also be using VR technology in the future.

Read Also – Mobile Virtual Reality Headsets to Watch Out for in 2016

Bellini said “If you work with an interior designer for your house, you’re going to be able to envision what that piece of furniture or what that tile might look like in your house before it actually ever gets installed.”

How Virtual Reality has changed from The 1990s

The research note says, regarding the change in virtual reality from the 90s- in the early 1990s, early efforts in VR like Virtuality arcade machines or Nintendo Virtual Boy had caused high expectations in comparison to what could be actually delivered through 3D graphics.

The note states, that now, computers are quite powerful and can deliver super-immersive graphics which can make virtual reality or augmented reality work like we want. Also, the displays and sensors that are required have been made standard enough by the smartphone industry so that they can build the devices at a cheaper rate.

This means that virtual or augmented reality headsets will pave the way for a new form of computing.

Goldman Sachs wrote in the note: “Fundamentally, virtual/augmented reality creates a new and even more intuitive way to interact with a computer. In the world of virtual/augmented reality, the controls of the computer become what we are already familiar with through gestures and graphics.”



However, Bellini said that the flourishing industry has also got some challenges to face. Technological barriers like faster wireless connections and better battery life should be overcome, before virtual technology hits mainstream.

What’s your take?

What’s your thought regarding this? Do you think virtual reality will boom? We would like to hear from you.

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Mobile Virtual Reality Headsets to Watch Out for in 2016

Mobile Virtual Reality Headsets to Watch Out for in 2016



At the CES this year, virtual reality headsets were a major hit. Several new headsets were displayed. While some of them were tethered, others were mobile headsets. The tethered headsets require to be connected with a computer while the mobile headsets require to be connected to a smartphone.

Here we bring to you some of the mobile VR headsets which could stand out in 2016.

Our list starts with the most expensive headset. Virtual reality as we know causes motion sickness. But this headset has some proprietary optical tech that evens out the visual signs that generally cause motion sickness. The presence of this tech makes the headset costly. It is not yet known how the tech works.

The headset has a flat vertical swing arm and is red and black in color. The arm keeps the phone in position. The arm also has a non-elastic strap which is three-pronged and has a Velcro adjustment. Any Windows, Android or iOS phone with screen size 4.6 to 6 inch and having an accelerometer will work with IONVR. The price is $230. Those wearing glasses, will find it a bit difficult to use.

The Homido VR headset comes at a price of $70. It keeps the mobile device in place using a folding chip. The phone is inserted inside the headset from the top. The elastic strap used is stretchy in nature. This decreases the scope of adjustment when the user wears the headset.



The viewing area is also tight and cannot be used with your glasses on. For those with poor eyesight, a special set of viewing cones are there which will work with the headset.

Read Also – Google Goes Big in Virtual Reality with Dedicated Lead

If you are looking for a plastic alternative to the virtual reality headsets made of regular cardboard, I am Cardboard DSCVR could be the right choice for you. The design is simple but is highly functional. The phone connected with this headset is held with a strap made of rubber-like material. There is no face gasket and the shroud slides forward.

To start interactivity of virtual reality in the phone’s screen, you have to push an input button on the top. However, to use the headset, you have to hold it in your hand as there is no strap. This headset might be a durable than other cardboard solutions, but it cannot be used as a full-on headset. The price of this headset is $30.

Homido also displayed another virtual reality product called the Homido Mini at the CES. The headset does not have any case and just comes with a pair of viewing optics that fastens to a smartphone. To get the virtual reality experience, you just need to hold the phone up to your eyes.

Unlike walled-in headsets and cardboard-based VR viewers, the outside world will not be shut out. This is good if you want to check out something for just a few seconds in virtual reality. The Mini comes at a price of $15.

Other mobile headsets which are worth mentioning include ViuLux Smart VR, ANTVR TAW and Ihuaqi 3D VR Headset.

What do you think of these headsets? Will you buy any? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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