How To ‘Pokémon Go’ Your Business With Your Own Augmented Reality & Image Recognition App

Pokémon Go came into the lives of mobile users and “caught them all”. Half the businesses in the world started looking at creative ways of how to jump on this opportunity, such as attracting more visitors to travel destinations or leveling up sales at restaurants with Pokémon Go.

Yet the other half of business owners were left puzzled. Frankly, many of them had to google “What is Augmented Reality?”.

So when Richard, our Chief Commercial Officer, was invited to give a speech at the Augmented Business Week to inspire companies in the Food & Beverages and Tourism & Destinations industries, he knew how to offer the attendees something valuable. Show them what Augmented Reality (abbreviated as AR) and Image Recognition solutions can do for their own business, rapidly and effectively generating greater awareness, traffic and revenue.

Let’s use a famous allegory to explain why we want to inspire companies to write their own success story.

Helping companies jump on the Pokémon Go bandwagon is like ‘giving them a fish’, while sharing how they can add AR experiences to their own mobile apps and services is like ‘teaching them to fish’.

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How and why you need to step up your game in the digital era as a business owner

Those who have been in businesses with a long history of success and world-class products or services may wonder: “Why should I change anything in the first place?”

The truth is that today there are new rules for business. All the world’s information and data is online and everyone can reach anything, anywhere anytime.

What made a company successful in the past probably won’t make you successful in the era of new customer expectations.

Consumers’ demands have changed. If they see an ad about a product they like, they want to learn more about it or be able to buy it right then and there. They want to interact with the world around them instead of being a passive spectator.  Previously lifeless objects are now being connected to a digital content to satisfy these needs.

The pace of change is accelerating. This creates new opportunities for those who apply new technology to their businesses.

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Pokémon Go has proven the need. Now it’s your chance to build your own success with Augmented Reality

You may ask, why is Pokémon Go such a big deal?

The Pokémon cartoon franchise was created 21 years ago. It was already successful but that didn’t stop them from innovating by launching an AR app with global appeal.

The Pokémon Go Augmented Reality app reached 7 million downloads in less than a week, surpassing any other app. Not to mention that it generated $160m in its first month and it hasn’t even launched in all countries, so it could easily make a staggering $2bn in the first year.

The lesson of all this is that even a successful giant like Nintendo/Niantic realized that they have to step up their digital strategy instead of sitting around doing nothing and watching the rest of the world rush by.

What are the keys to a successful mobile customer experience?

Pokémon Go taught us some important things:

  • If you get the concept right, you can grow your user base faster than ever before.
  • Gamification in apps where you make it fun for users to resolve challenges keeps on working. Pure utility is OK but gamification makes the app great.
  • The app’s astounding success also showed that there is indeed a massive customer interest in being able to interact with your everyday environment – which is exactly what Augmented Reality makes possible in an enjoyable and easy way.

One of the early problems with AR is that it was not a mass consumer phenomenon – so until now, few people understood what it was and how it worked. By combining something people are familiar with (in this case, Pokémons) with something new, the app has secured success. In fact, studies revealed that users want to see more of such interactive experiences in other fields of life, too.

Will you provide those customers with engaging mobile experiences they expect, or will you wait until your competitors do so?

Meet 3 businesses with AR & Image Recognition apps that inspire you to create your own

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#1 Food & Drink: Winewoo changes wine discovery by letting people scan a label

How do you go about changing the Beverage business? Winewoo is one company that is trying to do this one glass of wine at a time. Their idea? Give wine lovers the power to discover and share wines by simply scanning the wine label.

  • For 46% of French consumers, the Internet is the primary source of information prior to purchase. The app let people access immediate online information while at the stores or at a friend’s house, holding a bottle in their hands.
  • Winewoo was designed to recognize over 200,000 varieties of wine by the label. Implementing Catchoom’s Enterprise Image Recognition software into their app, this caused absolutely no problem.
  • They estimated the value of the online market they can tap into is over $660m in value.
  • Winewoo planned to gather over 150,000 users 1 year after launch even though it faces stiff competition from global players like Vivino. Other remarkable apps in the wine scanning space include Spanish Uvinum.

See our case study about Winewoo wine scanner app with more than 20,000 varieties.

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#2 Arts & Events: TAGR shows how physical businesses can drive footfall

  • TAGR offers an extra twist on the usual tourism app since it has created a global public gallery for art.
  • App users can go on self-guided art tours around the city by scanning street art which is identified using Image Recognition. Cool features include scanning murals to obtain printed t-shirts with the same pattern.
  • Art galleries can promote their events within the TAGR app and drive footfall to physical locations.

See our case study about the TAGR art discovery app that turns the world into a giant gallery

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#3 Travel businesses can find inspiration in Tagxy, where “Tripadvisor meets Facebook” with AR

  • The best way to think of Tagxy is as an “augmented Tripadvisor”. It lets app users create and share AR content in the real world, which makes it much more engaging than apps where the people can only ‘consume’ experiences.
  • Users tag objects such as store signs or posters with an emoticon or a video, which other users can then scan to unlock content.
  • Gamification was built into the experience by including scavenger hunts and storytelling. Tourism businesses and destinations could develop a similar idea to attract and educate visitors.

These were just 3 quick examples out of thousands of possible experiences that you can create with Augmented Reality and Image Recognition, tailored to your business profile.

Check out all our Case Studies – we’re sure you’ll find enough inspiration to get as excited about this technology as we are.

Watch the full talk from the Augmented Business Week by Richard Ferraro, Chief Commercial Officer of Catchoom, to learn more about ‘augmenting your business’:

Photo credits: The Florentine.net, Shutterstock, TAGR, Tagxy, Winewoo/Kasual