Showing posts with label utility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label utility. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IKEA - 2014 Augmented Reality Catalog

A few years back it seemed like augmented reality was going to be the NEXT BIG THING.  Reality has since intervened as most augmented reality executions proved to be mainly gimmicks that didn't provide a particularly compelling experience nor did they provide true utility to consumers.  Now IKEA is showing how augmented reality can be truly useful through their 2014 augmented reality catalog.  Created by McCann and IKEA's in-house agency, Icom the app allows IKEA customers to preview items from the catalog to see how they'd look in their homes prior to purchase.

Here's how it works, a user places the 2014 IKEA catalog on the floor in their home and then fires up the app on their phone or tablet.  The mobile device recognizes the tablet as the augmented reality marker.  The user can then select from various items in the catalog where they are overlaid onto a real-time view of the room (as captured through the camera of the mobile device).

Again, this is a great use of technology in order to provide true utility to the customer.  Users can see how various colors would look in-situ, as well as getting a sense of the size/scale of the furniture within their homes.  Those two features alone ease two of the most common pain points when buying furniture (eg. will color x good? will it fit properly?).  In fact, IKEA developed this app after their research showed that 1 in 7 customers purchased items that were either too large or too small for their homes.  It's a win-win as the app also has the potential to reduce the amount of store returns.  Check out the video that demonstrates the app below (complete with slightly creepy Swedish guy):

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Escape Flight

Escape Flight is a new travel site/service that flips the traditional model of planning and booking travel online.  Rather than start with a destination in mind, Escape Flight asks the user what attributes they're looking for in a getaway.  As their site descibes, Escape flight is 'a free service that has been specifically designed for people in big cities who need a last-minute getawar, but can't afford to do all the ground work themselves.  We have created a one-stop, travel-agent-defying algorithm that considers; your personal interests, the weather, your preferred airport, flight times, potential destinations (...including how easy they are to reach), even if there is an event on you might like, and of course not forgetting the cost.'
This idea isn't necessarily new, in fact there was a great piece of Miami Ad School student work that was similar, but based strictly on the weather requirements of the traveler.  I believe that I've also seen this sort of functionality buried in the booking options of other airlines sites.  The point is that none of the major travel players are really thinking about how to meet the needs of the traveler in non-traditional ways.  Escape Flight have brought the idea of interest/attribute based travel booking to the forefront in a both delightful and useful way.  It's crazy to me that big travel brands or travel aggregators aren't leading the way in terms of providing this sort of functionality as it resolves an inherent tension in the current travel process as well as serving an unmet need for potential travelers.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Heineken - The Fever Keeper

Heineken and their various agencies have done an amazing job of activating their Champions league sponsorship and providing both utility & entertainment to football fans through initiatives such as Heineken Star Player.  The latest work (from Vidal Parternship) is aimed squarely at Champions league fans in the US.  Due to the time difference, most games occur when people are at work and therefore can't watch the games live.  As any sports fan who's tried to watch a Tivoed game knows, you essentially need to enforce a communications blackout from match time until you get home and can actually watch the recorded game.  There's just too many opportunities to see the results of the game accidentally while browsing the web.  Enter Heineken Fever Keeper, a Chrome browser extension that blanks out any revealing information about the match, regardless of what site you're on. if only there was something similar for smartphones.  Check out the video below for more detail and to see it in action.

Additional Articles: PSFK | Adverblog