Pokémon Go brought the concept of augmented reality — or AR for short — into the mainstream… well, reality. This two-dimensional, AR, mobile game went viral just over a year ago, and, in doing so, it taught us all what gamers and high-tech fans have known for a while about AR.
So, now we all know that we can use AR to play cool games with our friends. But, can it be used for anything else? With the announcement of Apple’s ARKit at the 2017 Apple WWDC in June, it is safe to say that AR is here to stay.
First, let’s quickly summarize what AR is: AR is the ability to insert digital objects into a camera view of the real world, based on information about the scene that is within the camera’s view.
While Pokémon Go is a great consumer example of AR, there are much more robust use cases in the world of enterprise. That’s right: what started as gaming technology is now being used for B2B marketing and sales purposes, and it is working. In fact, that is how Kaon Interactive got started in the first place (Kaon’s Terra: Battle for the Outland), but that is a story for another day.
Let’s go back a couple of weeks to Cisco Live U.S. in Las Vegas.
This is a rather peculiar scene, but one that is becoming more common. What are these people doing?
This photo was taken in the Cisco booth at Cisco Live, and that white pillar in the foreground is used to showcase various Cisco products. However, this one is empty and labeled “Virtual Product Demonstration.”
The mobile device being used by the people in the photo is the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the world’s first — and, currently, only — AR-enabled smart phone, running Google Tango — an AR platform. The men holding the Phab 2 Pro phones, for the sake of our explanation, are Rob, Kevin and John (from left to right).
Here’s where it gets interesting. Rob, Kevin and John each are looking at different Cisco 3D products sitting on the white pillar with the Phab 2 Pro — through AR. Cisco used Kaon AR®, which was automatically enabled for their entire 3D product catalog on the Kaon High Velocity Marketing Platform® with an AR-enabled device. The capability allows John to get up close to the virtual products he is interested in — activating photo-realistic animations and walking around the products as if they were there, physically, in front of him. Kevin is a Cisco booth ambassador talking to the prospect about his business challenges and helping the gentleman locate various products within the AR catalog that will help him overcome these issues. And Rob is having another Cisco ambassador show him how he can see the product “at scale” in a real environment and uncover unique value features, benefits and product differentiators through interactive animations and consistent marketing messages — without Cisco shipping the physical product to the show.
Ok, sure, that has the “WOW” factor to attract people to your trade show booth. Are there any other benefits?
We just mentioned one; with your full product catalog in 3D Kaon AR®, there is no need to ship products to shows or customer sites. A customer or prospect is able to see the product in physical space as if it were there, with the added bonus of having access to every one of your products — not just the select few you were able to send or bring. With AR, a product can be animated, measured, examined in minute detail and walked around, while reading full descriptions of each feature.
Going beyond the initial “WOW” impression, AR helps build and maintain engagement on a chaotic trade show floor. John has been scrutinizing Cisco switches in AR for 20 minutes. He is physically, intellectually, and emotionally engaged with the product, and, because of this, he is more likely to recall the brand, the experience, the products and the value proposition in the future.
By this point, your imagination may be going wild with all the possibilities for AR in the enterprise, and it should. This technology is changing the game for sales and marketing, in the trade show environment and beyond.