How Integrating Avatar Functionality Will Improve Location Services Like Blippar’s Visual Positioning System
Location-based AR technology is coming. Soon.
With Blippar recently unveiling its new Visual Positioning System, location-based augmented reality services will soon be available in shopping malls, stadiums, and grocery stores, among other places, offering interactive and comprehensive AR functionality. And while this technology will undoubtedly revolutionize the consumer and spectator experiences, we can already envision how our 3-D digital avatar products and improve location-based services.
“We’ve always believed in the integration possibilities of our avatar creation technology with location-based services,” explains Possible Reality Founder Ryan Isbell. “Visual positioning and cloud-based location markers are really just the framework. What we’re doing with INTARACT is not only creating a new type of AR solution, but also opening the doors to a more personal and customizable experience.”
Examining Blippar’s new VPS, it’s clear that the London-based company, which has raised more than $100-million in funding, is taking a comprehensive approach to location-based AR solutions, using maps, markers, images, and augmented advertisements to engage users. But beyond the functionality visible in Blippar’s new demo, what can be done to further improve the user experience?
Isbell points to INTARACT and avatar creation as just one way Possible Reality can improve location-based AR apps.
“Think about going shopping for a minute, and then consider that this type of location-based AR has the potential to bring people back the physical retail experience. That’s huge,” states Isbell. “But rather than just a series of maps and arrows, we’d like to imagine a lifelike avatar of your creation, customized to specification, acting as your personal shopper or virtual assistant, bringing an added layer of efficiency and insight into the shopping experience. That’s building on what Blippar is doing, adding in this personalized layer where the user is guided by an avatar of their choice and creation.”
Applying this concept of a personal avatar that acts as a guide through the retail AR experience to stadiums and events, Isbell’s vision can extend to sports, not only helping fans navigate through lines and find concessions, but also for statistical elements, where customizable 3-D avatars can provide live fantasy sports updates directly on smartphones and tablets, essentially providing additional highlights that are personalized for each user.
Avatars, like the ones Possible Reality is creating with its proprietary facial-mapping software, essentially have the ability to improve any location-based AR experience, mainly because of the personal touches they provide.
Consider the exact retail and stadium scenarios provided by Blippar, which has already signed two major clients. Now imagine how those experiences can be improved by the addition of an avatar of your choosing. Suddenly, friends can join you at the mall or at the game; celebrity avatars can help you shop for clothes and makeup, while athlete avatars can pose for photo opportunities on the sidelines.
And then there is gaming, which is not exclusive to location-based services, but can act as a subset of location-based AR.
With retail and property developers starting to use Blippar’s VPS, location-based AR gaming will spread, virtually, and the addition of avatars can heighten the gaming experience greatly, adding in a new level of competition.
There are very few AR experiences that would not benefit from the inclusion of 3-D digital avatars, which is exactly why Possible Reality is finding new and innovative ways to apply our unique technology to the emerging and expanding augmented universe.
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