Augmented Reality In Action

I had a chance to tryout a great augmented reality advertisement two weeks ago at the Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul, Turkey.  The display was sponsored by Vestel and involved playing football (soccer) with robots! Vestel has a large market share of consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe and is the sponsor behind this display. Vestel, best known for producing TVs, had their logo at the top right of the screen; they also had a rather large manned booth behind this demo.

In terms of the set-up: There was a giant screen set up with an image of a football (soccer) goal with an image of a robot as the goalie. About twelve feet in front of the screen is a rectangular box with a monitor that users stand on.

1)     There is an image of a football on the monitor the user is standing on and the player kicks the ball.

2)     On the screen in front you can see the ball – either making it into the net or missing it.

3)     Players get two shots.

4)     Your score is then displayed along with a note letting you know they’re about to take your picture.

5)     The screen has the player’s live video feed on the screen along with an animated robot coming to give the player a trophy.

6)     Finally, the player’s picture is taken and the player is given a number which they can use to retrieve their picture.

I loved the experience. The kids that I watched trying it out also loved it. I was in a hurry to get through security so I didn’t talk to the person in the associated booth, nor did I try to retrieve my picture.

What a great way of interacting with the public. I liked that I didn’t need any particular type of device on me or that I didn’t need to download an app. Plus this particular activity appeals to such a large audience where football (soccer) is bigger than hockey is here in Canada. This level of interactivity also makes this setup unique; users of the system are doing something they love while they are being made aware of the brand. This is particularly suiting for the Vestel brand since they are electronics producers and are being associated with state of the art interactive systems, especially with the video/screen component. This helps potential customers associate the Vestel brand with fun, creativity and innovation – all with their active participation. Potential customers are willingly being exposed to the brand and what it stands for, rather than walking out of the room when one of their commercials is on or fast forwarding the commercial if they have PVRed a particular program.

How soon before we have a company with a similar booth set up either at airports or in shopping centres? Could change it to hockey – as long as it appeals to the audience.