Legendary Partners With Microsoft To Create Holograms Of Warcraft Characters

What Happened
Legendary Entertainment is teaming up with Microsoft’s HoloLens team to create mixed reality content. The production studio is beginning with holograms of the characters from its Warcraft and Pacific Rim movies. At the Hollywood premiere of the Warcraft movie, Legendary showcased a HoloLens experience where users could see people interacting with a hologram of Orgrim Doomhammer, a main character from the Warcraft franchise.

What Brands Need To Do
This partnership sets a precedent for brands looking to explore augmented and mixed reality and create next-gen branded content. Recently, the viral success of Pokémon Go has been familiarizing millions of mainstream consumers worldwide with augmented reality technologies, and brands that wish to jump on this hot trend should consider partnering with content creators to develop branded AR content.

The Lab has extensive experience with AR technologies and how they apply to marketing. For anyone that has yet to experience augmented reality, the Lab has a HoloLens that is ready for demo. Please get in touch with our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) if you’d like to request a HoloLens demo or have a client opportunity.


Source: GeekWire

Header image courtesy of Legendary’s YouTube Video

CES 2016: Lenovo To Launch First AR-Capable Smartphone With Google’s Project Tango

Today at CES, Chinese PC-maker Lenovo announced that it has inked a deal with Google to create the first smartphone with Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities. Set to launch later this year, this yet-to-be-named phone will incorporate Google’s Project Tango technologies to let user take 3D-scanning of the surrounding environment and superimpose information and digital images onto those images.

Project Tango, launched by Google in 2014, has gotten off to a rather slow start, and this new partnership with Lenovo could spell great opportunities for Google to push AR technologies into the consumer market.

For more of the Lab’s CES coverage, click here.


Header image courtesy of Lenovo’s Twitter

Nintendo Brings AR Gaming To Pokemon Mobile App

What Happened
Japanese game-maker Nintendo teamed up with Niantic Labs, the studio behind Google’s AR game Ingress, to bring popular game Pokemon to mobile devices – with a twist of Augmented Reality (AR). Aptly named Pokemon Go, the new app requires players to travel to real-world locations to catch, train, and battle their Pokemon. The game also has a Bluetooth-enabled wearable accessory that lights up and vibrates when players approach virtual Pokémon in the real world,.

What Brands Should Do
Augmented Reality is a promising marketing technique, and while Nintendo mentioned no brand integration, it’s not hard to see how local discovery could fit into this gameplay. For example, a brick-and-mortar retail brand could sponsor a specific kind of Pokemon to entice gamers to visit their store locations, or could host virtual battles or training grounds. As AR technologies matures, brands that are willing to experiment now to see how they fit into the AR space would be in a much better position.



Source: The Verge

Event Recap: ARNY & The Future of Augmented Reality

During the week of July 27th, the Lab attended two events that focused on augmented reality (AR). Many topics were addressed including commercial adoption, industrial application, and marketing implications. There was a general consensus among the participants in “The Future of Augmented Reality” panel that the best use case for AR is education. It can be used to enhance a teacher’s lesson plan or train medical residents for surgical procedures without the need for expensive training facilities.

The State Of Binaural AR
When people think of augmented reality, they mostly focus on the visual aspects of the technology. In truth, audio is also an essential part of a person’s environment and can be augmented as well. Hooke is a company that is aiming to commercialize binaural recording on a large scale. Unlike 3DIO, which requires a large recording device, Hooke’s flagship product is a pair of Bluetooth headphones with built-in microphones, which allows it to record audio binaurally in the same way that human ears capture sound in their surrounding environment. Although the product itself is not bulky and minimally invasive, convincing consumers of the need of binaural recordings remains a major adoption barrier.

What Brands Should Do
There are currently in-market options that demonstrate the potential of AR but no products or services that are easily accessible. As of today, AR products are generally too bulky, too expensive, or not comprehensive enough for mass adoption. Nevertheless, better solutions could arrive within 5-10 years, the panelists said.

Therefore, brands that are willing to experiment now to see how they fit into the AR space will be in a much better position when the time comes. For example, it is not far-fetched to think that standard brick and mortar stores will enhance the shopping experience by layering product info directly over physical objects. Furthermore, combining consumer behavior data with AR allows brands to make purchase recommendations, surface relevant promotions at opportune times, and create a personalized shopping experience.

SXSW 2015: Solutions for Augmented and Virtual Reality

The nexus of virtual and augmented reality is one of the most interesting topics at SXSW, and content creators are currently exploring the new tools. Augmented reality (“AR”) like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens, is a way of transmitting digital content into the real world. Virtual reality (“VR”), as used by Oculus and Samsung, is completely immersive. Both can create great, consumable content, but in the coming years, brand will need to understand and execute on the best use cases for each. For instance, DAQRI, an augmented reality developer working in industrial and enterprise-grade solutions, believes that the enclosed environment of virtual reality is best suited toward immersive experiences, while augmented reality is best when needing to interface with the world around the audience.

But it’s not just brands who are interested in AR and VR; consumers are becoming more active in the space as well. Video multi-channel network Machinima is attempting to bridge the gap between user-generated content and the new space. “You can’t create a medium with a lot of content if 1% of the population has the tools to do so,” admitted Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise. Brands may be able to pay for expensive and beautiful VR content, but if the public can’t create its own, there may be a small audience.

Here Come The Holograms

Read the original story on: Vox

At yesterday’s Microsoft press event, among standard updates for its software offerings, including the new Windows 10 OS and accompanying new apps, the company also unveiled an intriguing new project: the Microsoft HoloLens. Currently in the prototype stage, it is a see-through visor-like headset that projects holographic objects into the real-world surroundings.

Microsoft has developed a new user interface for 3D computing and is still working on how to enable users to control and interact with the virtual 3D objects. This marks Microsoft’s official foray into augmented reality and could very well be the first step towards a future full of holograms.

Fraunhofer iPad Augmented Reality App Guides Surgeons

Augmented Reality apps come in all shapes and sizes; some rest atop ice cream cartons to help judge melting times, while others simply show fun shapes. Fraunhofer MEVIS, however, aims for a loftier goal: using augmented reality to lessen the risks of challenging surgeries. The tool puts a 3D blood vessel map on top of a live patient that tells the surgeon whether it is safe to make incisions. Doctors who make the incisions can then easily determine the level and safety of blood loss based on the map. For now, the app is limited to Liver surgery, one of the more dangerous procedures in the medical world. However, Fraunhofer MEVIS sees the new technology applying to surgery elsewhere in the body. 

Häagen-Dazs Debuts Augmented Reality App

Häagen-Dazs has debuted an augmented reality iPhone app called the Concerto Timer. When users launch the app, they point their camera at the lid of any pint of ice cream and they’ll hear a ‘virtual violin concerto’ for two minutes – just the amount of time it takes ice cream to reach ideal consistency for eating. They recorded actual musicians playing instruments with Xbox Kinect, and rendered them into 3D forms. Whether this is successful or just cheeky remains to be seen, but at the least it’s an interesting way to turn an otherwise mundane activity into something fun and engaging. 

IKEA Augmented Reality Catalog Previews Products in Apartment

As part of its 2014 catalogue, IKEA will allow you to preview products in your own home using augmented reality, to ensure that the item you eventually purchase is the correct size, style, and color. It works through IKEA’s iOS and Android apps, in combination with the catalogue itself. You can scan the catalogue, and thereafter visualize the product overlaid onto the environment; the app itself measures the space and provides options based on what would fit. It cuts down on waste, returns, and ultimately, provides a fun, virtual shopping experience around IKEA’s products. For a quick look at how it works, check out the video below:


Stanford Research Shows Virtual Reality Can Change Behavior

According to new research from Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, virtual reality appears to be able to change the way people act and make decisions. For instance, in one experiment subjects chopped down virtual trees from a forest; the subjects used 20% less paper immediately thereafter. And a new, even more intriguing experiment lets participants experience a simulation of life as a cow in a meat factory. Subjects in this experiment felt real sadness as they were lead to the slaughterhouses at the end of the experiment, but whether or not they ate less meat remains to be seen. Though the study poses interesting questions as a thought experiment, it has vast implications for brands and advertisers on the ground. Although Augmented Reality (i.e. Google Glass) is more readily available as a reality-shifting technology, virtual reality systems such as the Oculus Rift are catching on in the gaming world, and other, more full-body virtual reality platforms are in development. This means that brands will, in the future, have the opportunity to reach customers on a much more primitive, visceral level; they might even – with the right design – be able to shape consumer habit. Though this is a long way off, it’s nonetheless important to know that the research shows it’s not only possible, but probable.