Francisco Calvo is the general manager of Cristaliza, which is the major owner of ARlab. He is an experienced and reputable technology consultant who now focuses on digital transformation. Francisco took some time recently to educate us on augmented reality and how it will change our day-to-day lives in the future.
What exactly does ARLab do?
ARlab is a laboratory devoted to generating augmented reality (AR) technology. Our main products are the four patents we have, as well as the SDKs which are powerful, easy to use, and inexpensive.
How would you explain the potential applications of augmented reality to someone whose knowledge of AR is limited to Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go has ushered in a change in the general public mindset. Now, everyone understands what augmented vision is: to have content positioned geographically for a specific time in an interactive way. This is only one aspect of AR.
Another one, which is pretty well-known, is image recognition. In this field, our technology is unique because it is faster and requires less of the image (one-third is all we need). Current challenges include 3D tracking and integration into VR.
Talk about one new augmented reality application that you’re really excited about.
We have invested heavily in a SaaS platform called GEOQ to track the positions of the devices enabled with our SDKs and send customized content to them. In this way, we can enable any app with AR without having to change any code in the app. Most of the work is done in the cloud platform with parameters and wizards.
For programmers/engineers, what skills are needed to work in the AR space?
The technical guys involved in using AR only need standard knowledge (Java, XCODE, Android studio, etc.). Those people working in the AR libraries would need to learn C/C++ to use the video and image libraries.
Also, what is really valuable is a gaming experience and mindset both in UX/CX design and usability, as well as a grasp of gaming dynamics and mechanisms. Certainly, a level of creativity and artistry is useful as well.
Right now, how is augmented reality being used by companies for marketing purposes?
Marketing personnel are developing WOW projects with AR. They are seeking solutions that bring the customer to them (online and in stores), but now they are starting to utilize it in other ways, like allowing consumers to try on clothes or put a 3D image of furniture in the space where it will be used. We think that it will really provide the most effective advertising format of the future as video displays images and AR elements and gives people the ability to customize the experience (geographically, in different timeframes, on various devices, utilizing customer profiles, etc.).
How might you incorporate text messages or SMS messages into an augmented reality application?
Again, we’re anticipating a time when most apps will be AR-enabled. We expect the same type of revolution as when Google Maps allowed everyone to incorporate maps into their apps. Texts and push notifications will also have a place in an AR-enabled app.
How are you able to measure the success of the augmented reality aspect of a marketing campaign?
Measuring is always difficult. After all, when you have different components, how does each one of them contribute to the campaign’s success? There are well-established methodologies and tools, but our experience is that when we are used to CTRs under 1%, we can reach 10% easily by using geo-profiling and geo-content in AR-enabled apps.
What is your vision of the future of augmented reality over the next decade?
Over the next decade, AR will be everywhere. Just like we enjoy video or virtual maps today, we will soon have LBS (Location Based Services) and AR content and interactions using cameras (such as image recognition and tracking). The differentiation will come from the services, not the technology.
Want more information on the future of technology? Check out our blog.AR, augmented reality