Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Is the Philippines Ready for Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is defined in Wikipedia as "a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Augmented Reality
Spark Global launched Augmented Reality Product

Augmented Reality vs QR Codes

It's somehow a cousin technology of QR Codes which you also scan with an optical tool such as a camera, and get information in return. The main difference would be that Augmented Reality gives you the media directly, whether it's a video, image, or a 3D rendition. You can also scan beyond codes and 'dots'. In fact, some local companies in the Philippines have already developed proprietary AR technoliges making museum paintings interactive and more engaging including dioramas in Philippine museums.

On the other hand, QR Codes are simpler and is less dynamic standing as simple representations of another in the form of web links, name, photo, and similar entities.
Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality form Spark Global
Spark Global

In an intimate press round table over lunch a few hours ago, Gadget Gambit / Digital Manila met with some key people behind Spark Global Tech Systems, Inc., the exclusive partner of AR-based technology in the Philippines that is under license from Toppan, a 115 year old company and is one of the largest global printing companies in Japan.

Spark Global aims to bring AR technology to the next level in the Philippines in such a way that this innovative media enhancement technology - "Augmented Reality" - integrates digital information into a real environment in real time.

Using a smartphone application called "AReader" to make the technology "handy" to over 40 million smartphone users in the Philippines, the term Augmented Reality can be more specifically referred to as "a technology used to superimpose virtual images onto photos taken by a
smartphone in real time".
Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality In Action
AR Video
Einstein talking in the AR Video
Compared to an earlier technology called "Virtual Reality,” which is more of creating an artificial environment, AR utilizes an existing environment and "superimposes" new information on top of it.
AR Applications

In Japan, where Toppan is based, AR technology is already used widely as it adds extra value to any existing media platform by providing a realistic spectacle and a true-to-life sensory experience. The technology may be highly personalized according to requirements and can be changed from time to time.

The content can be made trendy and unique in order to attract attention, totally interactive and is vastly accessible due to the high number of smartphone usage in the country. Any type of content, whether link to sounds or tracking movies. You can also create your own 3D CG or provide links to web pages.
Calling Card
Dot-Code on a Business Calling Card for scanning
"Given the robustness of the media industry here in the Philippines, we are quite excited in bring AR technology to the country. We know that it will be an exciting proposition to big companies here who want to ’up the ante,’ so to speak, when it comes to creativity in digital advertising platforms and bringing in a whole new experience. We're beyond delighted that AR is here right now for progressive companies and businesses to utilise and our team is looking forward to collaborating with them,” explains Managing Director, Rowi Bautista.
Among the common uses or applications of AR technology is mainly through media and advertisements, as a form of digital incentives through a smart device, interactive print campaigns, food packaging, promotional videos, 3D animation, 3D flyers, guide books with video documentaries, or even a trade show presentation tool and other business-related needs.

Spark Global also offers powerful business solutions through a wide range of technologies such as systems for HR InformationPayrollAccountingSales and InventoryAccess Control and SecuritySmart CardsResearch and Development, and even Banking Solutions. With them, 'Converging Technologies’ of companies in order to go beyond boundaries is now made possible.
Spark Global Tech
Spark Global Tech
The "AReader" is downloadable via the Apple App Store or Android’s "Google Play".
Spark Global Tech Systems1805A East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center,
Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Telephone Number:  (+632) 5328579
Email: info@sparkglobaltech.com
Website: www.sparkglobaltech.com
So, is the Philippines ready for Augmented Reality? Well, Spark Global definitely thinks so. As per the Filipino market, time will tell! :)

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