My last article on augmented reality flipped through how apps are using AR to how immersive augmented reality is coming closer to our lives with iOptik lenses being developed by Innovega. This merging of virtual and real world right at our eyes is however going to take some time. So in the meantime, companies are coming up with innovative ways to use the ubiquitous smart-phone to enthrall consumers with augmented reality.
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We all know how the Internet + smartphone/tablet combination is forcing everything to make its presence felt “online”. Ebooks are eating into tangible book market and more and more companies are turning to online catalogues to cut costs and for wider reach. Those colorful paper-catalogues with their glossy touch and lovely smell might soon become of the things that technology killed. But when Ikea had the option to turn to e-catalogs, it came up with a smarter idea- one that retains the feel-good factor of paper catalogs and at the same time keeps up with technology. The world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, gives an interesting twist to catalogues the way we know it by integrating with it augmented reality.
Innovating the paper catalogue
This amazing interactive feature in Ikea catalogues that reach out to about 211 million consumers worldwide was envisaged by the global marketing communications company McCann Erickson. As the video shows, the catalogues innovative feature is the accompanying visual recognition app (soon to be launched) that will bring its pages to life in the form of inspirational videos, designer stories, “x-ray” vision that peeks inside furniture, and more.
The catalogue pages with a smartphone icon, encourages shoppers to scan to see more. Unlike the QR codes, the app uses image recognition software from Metaio, which makes it convenient to add further content to other pages in the future. Adding and updating content on regular basis extends the life of the catalog in consumers’ homes when otherwise its average lifespan would be about two weeks.
According to Ms. Berge, Head of Global Communications, Ikea had conducted focus groups and over the last two years saw just a slight decrease in consumer interest for the catalog. “Of course, what has happened throughout these years is the media landscape has changed, people’s media consumption behavior has changed,” she said. “It takes so much more than it did in the 1950s and even ten years ago, when it was still quite easy to stand out from the junk mail and other advertising in your mailbox.” The interactive catalogue definitely stands out of the lot. And the digital extensions are not limited to the 3D view of furniture; the catalogues also feature videos that connect to the consumer. Like the inspirational film “I Love You, But” which shows how couples with divergent home styling tastes can compromise, via Ikea. Have a look: