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Augmented reality (AR) blends virtual and real elements to create a unique immersive experience. With AR, you can view your living room at home, for example, on a smartphone and see how virtual components (like a lamp, armchair or table) would fit into the actual setting. The potential applications are limitless. They span numerous sectors, from training on installation maintenance to technical design of spaces such as shops, industrial installations and booths, from e-commerce to tourism, and from marketing to education.
The potential scenarios are endless, the business opportunities, unimaginable. AR systems can spice up fairs, shows and events; they can be deployed in stores, in e-commerce, and in communications in general. Well-known brands, like Nike and Nissan, are already doing so.
It is not only businesses that benefit, consumers get a share, too, as they can access an unprecedented service and gain accurate, personalised information in real time.
The main revolution is not in the technology per se but in its accessibility. For, as all it takes to access an AR system is a device with GPS, webcam and internet connection (standard in nearly every tablet, PC or smartphone), this innovation is within the reach of all.
Forge Reply has completed a wide range of projects exploiting AR. To mention just a few, Ferrero Germany asked Forge Reply to build several entertaining applications for youngsters to go with their Kinder surprises. By pointing a smartphone or tablet at the marketing leaflets distributed in the Kinder eggs, kids can watch the characters in the surprises come to life before their eyes. Another interesting example involves the air-conditioning systems manufacture DAIKIN. Using an application by Forge Reply, consumers can select the device that best suits their home décor. They can view a virtual representation of the conditioner exactly where they would like to have it installed.
Another important aspect of Forge’s work is the use of technologies to create amazing and entertaining experiences. We cover a vast technological spectrum: AR; Oculus Rift, a mask that provides an immersive experience in a completely virtual environment; Kinect, a technology that enables you to interact with an application through your body movements; TOBII, a technology that lets you control a device with your eyes, and many more besides.
Our projects in this arena include the following:
1) AT&T approached an architect to create their booth for MWC. Forge adapted the 3D design for viewing with Oculus, enabling the client to try out the booth immersively before it had even been built and tell the architect which alterations they required. This iterative process saved the client a great deal of time in planning the booth and minimised the risk of nasty surprises in the finished product.
2) AGCO – Agricolture Company, wanted an interactive experience for presenting a new product – FUSE (a consolidated system for managing the various machines used in a farming enterprise) – at the Agritecnica fair in Germany. A 3D model of a farm was created for a presenter to interact with using gestures while introducing each product.