What is Augmented reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) enables users to experience localized digital information and applications in real time through a camera and other sensors.
AR brings cloud-based delivery, social media, location-based applications and gesture-based technology together with excellent design.
Overall, we’re excited about the cross-platform opportunities AR presents for users and businesses, offering a more personalised, fun and functional view of the world.
Is Augmented Reality just a fad?
Hollywood has been evangelizing AR for years in the movies.
We see AR as an evolution of media as users move along the ‘technology adoption lifecycle’. The proliferation of smart phone adoption, social media usage and mobile device uptake demonstrates this.
The glasses provide the next iteration – bringing the 3D experience to life via a wearable and mobile device.
What gave you the idea for the business?
Co-founders Paul Kouppas and Scott O’Brien met playing sport and we came up with the idea over a few beers. Paul was lecturing in augmented reality and Scott suggested commercializing it. Constant innovation was both a cornerstone and a challenge. They developed a business plan over a few months. They also bounced a lot of ideas off clients and asked a lot of questions to help define the company.
With Paul’s extensive industrial design background, and experience with medical illustration and animation heads up display, AR eyewear was highlighted.
Did you build the AR system yourself?
Yes – investing our own funds initially, we’ve built our own proprietary code and programs in-house. We have also partnered with some of the world’s best technologies to deliver world class applications.
We’ve done a range of world’s first and world’s best practice applications: our work on Transformers features two amazing games in one app: www.tf3ar.com.
Who was your first client?
McDonald’s was our first client. After four weeks and lots of education on AR we started work on an ambitious Facebook-related AR campaign: McDonald’s customers used emoticons to show how hungry they were, reflect their personality and share through Facebook.
Are you looking for investment?
Over the last twelve months we’ve achieved significant growth in terms of revenue and EBIDTA, grown our expert team accordingly, and established an award-winning international presence. We’re interested in talking to a limited amount of appropriate parties regarding investment to drive our continued growth.
What’s the business opportunity?
Juniper research released in 2011 demonstrates the business case: the research estimated that annual revenues generated by mobile AR applications and services are expected to approach $1.5 billion by 2015, up from less than $2 million in 2010.
With our AR application for Transformers, we’ve shown how we can use AR to enhance entertainment and in fact provide digital sales conversion of 50%+.
Augmented Reality is a growing market and Explore Engage is an award-winning, specialist consultancy of international repute and a great client list.
All our designs and applications are focused on the user experience. We wanted to create a wearable AR device. We see the evolution heading towards wearable computing and our skill sets have covered AR eyewear since 2010.
AR glasses are cutting edge, wearable technology designed for multiple use cases: gaming, medical, educational, entertainment, property, social, branding and business.
Having these glasses is comparable to wearing a smartphone on your face – they’re a hands-free, gesture-based 3D interface designed to be fun and functional.
You can use AR to play games, navigate, take photos, receive alerts, interact with second screen entertainment, enhance live spectator events, check the time, translate languages, see ‘pop-up’ maps, connect with friends and even aid Parkinsons sufferers with mobility applications.
We’ve been working on the glasses concept for three years. With the growth in smart phone use around the world, the proliferation of social media and mobile device use, the time is ripe for AR adoption and growth.
With this video release, we are pleased to now be taking our concept to industry at the Augmented Reality Event in Santa Clara and joining the global conversation.
Will people wear them?
Yes. As our concept video shows, our glasses are to be worn and used by people of all ages, in many different situations.
The AR glasses are designed to be universally appealing and useful. You don’t need to be a total geek to wear our glasses. We also like to refer to research:
• A recent poll by Mashable in April 2012 revealed that almost 70% of respondents would wear glasses, particularly with ‘fit for purpose’ applications (32% of more than 6,200 respondents indicated they would wear the glasses, and 36% said that depending in utility they would as well).
Who’s your market?
Our glasses concept has broad appeal – based on multiple use cases and design.
Our model is built on a prototype available to license by clients for specific use cases, with the hardware assembly and the software platform working in harmony.
This means we can create bespoke glasses, and assist developers to generate apps that are friendly to our eyewear, for targeted or mass markets.
What’s the technology behind the glasses?
• Digital information is delivered through the micro projector, through to see-through lens, offering a 26 degree digital image field of view without compromising peripheral vision.
• The digital image has a focal point that allows its comfortable focus and viewing with the user’s real-world environment.
• Initially the device will be tethered to a smartphone, Android and iOS, however the next generation will be built as a standalone device with its own battery and wireless communication to any smartphone.
• There are two modes of experience: 1) where a transparent TV mode is in a suspended view of several feet in front of your eyes and 2) an “in situ” mode whereby digital assets augment your vision.
• The glasses have built in sensors to detect head movements, placing the digital information in their real-world environment, such as map locations and points of interest.
• The camera can detect movement in front of the glasses so gestures can control interface selections.
• The front facing camera and other features (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 4G) through smartphone enable consumer and industrial use cases.
• A light sensor will detect ambient light levels and adjust the brightness of displayed digital image on lens, so that it automatically adjusts as the wearer goes from inside to outside, night to day.
How are your glasses unique?
We have focused on quality design and user experience, building a strong suite of use cases that bring to life how this wearable AR technology is relevant.
We wanted to show how AR is inclusive, fun and functional. With our glasses, users can save time, enhance various activities and even save lives when information is shared ethically and appropriately, for example in our CPR case.
Our internal sensors understand and detect accurate movements of the head, allowing for precise augmentation of digital information, so the information can be seen in situ.
What about the privacy aspects of glasses?
At this stage, we are exploring applications that promote positive habits, save lives, help life, make life fun, make money or save money for people.
We advocate ethical applications and use cases. What we also expect to occur is that the user will have some control over the advertising featured in the interface.
What kinds of applications could Project 2020AR glasses be used for?
• Games involving existing assets and the real world
• Social connectivity – Facebook or Google+ off the 2D screen, in the real world? Real time, email via gestures (imaginary keyboard)
• Financial services enabling more efficient decision making
• Telecommunications enabling new revenue lines in wholesale and retail
• Sporting companies/ brands enabling enhanced activities in stadiums, elite level training and at home
• Medical: eg Parkinson’s disease sufferers – can step over a line to overcome freeze moments. Surgical training and consultation.
• Property: give more likelihood to instant comprehension on property plans in situ or in relation to 3d maps and location, or asset management for oil and gas industry based pre-existing data sets and general information.
• Entertainment: watching movies, reading books.
• Educational: enhanced materials and scripted relationships to reinforce learning; remote educational and training opportunities.
• Branding: campaigns, sports events, short movies, trade show events.
• Location-based: remote team coordination, hazard detection and avoidance.
• Personal training: eg running, cycling – view time, path, landmarks without having to stop and adjust accessories.
What are your thoughts on Google’s glasses?
We applaud Google for taking the AR eyewear conversation to a whole new level.
Whilst the suggested interface is arbitrary for timelines and current capabilities, the public starts to understand the main gist of what is coming very soon.
We believe there will be people who are prepared to forgive the shortfalls that have been highlighted by public opinion, just like there was for first generation mobile phone adoption.
What are your future plans for the business?
We will continue to grow our business and our technology. We expect a 200% increase in revenue from last year. We aim to continue to deliver ‘world’s firsts and world’s bests’ with AR.
One most significant apps under research and development is with our eyewear and positively impacting people’s lives. One app simulates pedestrian crossings for people with Parkinson’s so they can initiate a step forward out of their freeze moments.
A whole new landscape is being pioneered. A whole new world is being enabled.
We continue to encourage people to: Explore your world, Engage in your dreams.