During Facebook’s F8 developers conference, many new features for their Spark AR platform were announced. They announced that 600K creators (+50% since December 2020) from 190 countries have developed about 2 million AR effects for FB and Instagram. Facebook has launched the Multipeer API as beta with which it is possible to apply AR in video calling via Messenger, but soon also in Instagram and via the Portal. For example, confetti and streamers in every screen if you want to congratulate someone with a group. But soon you will also be able to play games with each other in a video call. Very nice. In addition, they have added multiclass segmentation with which you can better track a person, their hair or skin and add effects to it. Or even make a person invisible while you can still see their clothes. The image tracking has also been improved so that you can now use 5 (moving) images as markers. For example, in this way a brand can uses 5 of its products as a marker for an AR game or experience.
E-commerce in AR is on the rise. Snapchat has recently launched many new features. They also shared a case from Nespressowhere you could view their devices in AR and order directly. They saw a 65% increase in sales and 14% more brand awareness. I also think it’s cool that you can add something extra to the shopping experience in AR, such as this partnership between MAC Cosmetics and Disney where you get the look of Cruella in AR with their new make-up line. To sell makeup and to promote the new movie. But the Sneaker 0 experience from GoSpooky for the Design Museum is also great. They had a machine learning model (AI) analyze thousands of sneakers and distilled the ultimate sneaker from it. Which you can of course fit yourself in AR on Snapchat. It’s not a real e-commerce application, but it could have been. Watch the video on Instagram.
With volumetric video (3D video) you can perfectly bring your heroes into your home. The KNVB and 4DR Studios have recorded all Orange players in 3D video and added them to the KNVB Orange app. With this you can place all the players and the mascots in your house or wherever you are. They have a cool move that a fan can record and share. In addition, there is also a feature that allows you to take a group photo with three players. You choose three players, they walk to a spot and leave some space where you can stand. Very nicely done and the quality is really good. I wonder how many shares we will see this European Championship. Download the app in the app store
The interesting thing about AR is that it can integrate a virtual world with a physical product. An experience on the product can easily be triggered with a QR code or Snap code. For example, Huggies had a weAR experience on their packaging where you could place fun face filters on babies. Of all packages sold, 5% had been scanned and people were engaging with the brand for more than a minute. But even more fun is when the packaging itself becomes a real part of the experience, such as this strong example of Knorr World Dishes. They want to show how much vegetables are in the dishes. The package opens and the vegetables jump out which you then have to slice in AR to set your record. I bought a package to test it and it looks really good and also has a nice gameplay.
For the launch of its new Autumn/Winter collection in Europe, C&A organized a virtual fashion show in collaboration with Belgian advertising agency Friendship. They sent more than 550 guests from 19 different countries everything they needed to sit back and enjoy the presentation from the comfort of their own home: goodies and an empty magazine that came to life and offered an immersive AR experience.
PLAYAR (the studio were I’m partner) developed a complete webAR (AR in the mobile browser) experience where each of the 20 pages told its own story. The readers were given a preview of the collection via a so-called AR portal, which brought them 4 mannequins into their home. Or discovered the creators and the idea behind the collections through collages and mood boards in AR. And they themselves became fashion designers by coloring a sketch and then seeing it in front of them in AR. And to build up the tension to the event, the fall and a countdown clock in AR literally popped out of the centerfold.