• 1.800.672.8698
  • Blog: MediaLab 3D Perspectives

    Product Marketing’s Virtual Age: 12 Practical Uses of Augmented Reality

    dreamstime_xs_106630_AR_MirrorOne of the most talked about technologies on the virtual horizon is Augmented Reality (AR). Augmented Reality overlays the viewer’s real time environment with digital information, thus augmenting his or her reality. In some applications it applies a virtual layer of data and images over the live scene like informational popups. In other cases it pulls 3D objects and animations into the viewer’s environment (or casts the viewer into a virtual environment) to create a more immersive experience. It’s not brand new but as its capabilities and quality have grown, so have its applications to marketers.

    Here are just a few of the ways it’s already being used:

    In-Home Product Previews

    AR_AugmentApp_TabletPreview

    Mashable at South by Southwest® Interactive (SXSWi) with the creator of Augment. Click to play.

    1. Consumer Product Previews

    Augmented Reality lets online and catalog shoppers view 3D products at home at actual size and in photorealistic detail. This video by Mashable at South by Southwest® Interactive (SXSWi) shows the Augment app creator previewing a tablet in the palm of his hand and placing and arranging furniture.

    [Read more…]

    3 Emerging Techs Show How 3D Will Outperform Photography in the Virtual Age

    dreamstime_xs_2731401_binaryroadIt’s fast becoming a digital world as yesterday’s sci-fi fantasies become a reality – or, at least a virtual reality. Surveying the emerging technologies, one can’t help but note how many are aimed at delivering augmented, simulated and digitally connected experiences – in most cases, right from user’s smartphone or tablet.

    With rich opportunities for product marketers and even real estate sales, it’s time to start thinking 3D. Simply put, 3D product images and objects position innovative marketers to leverage these new technologies where traditional photography can’t.

    Here are three such technological places, which we’ll explore in greater detail over our next few posts.

    1. Augmented Reality

    AR_AugmentApp_FurniturePreviewAugmented Reality (AR) overlays the viewer’s real time environment with digital information – or, in some cases, casts the viewer into a virtual environment.

    In our next post, we’ll dive into AR and some examples of how it’s already being used, including:

    [Read more…]

    9 Cost-Effective Reasons Why 3D Animation Beats Video

    It’s true. 3D animation can actually cut costs. It may be surprising, but 3D animation gives you value and savings that traditional product video simply cannot.

    The benefits of 3D animation go way beyond just saving costs. Many people I talk to don’t realize everything 3D animation can do for their ROI. Check out these 9 FAQs – questions we hear all the time about the cost of 3D product animation vs. traditional video.

    No More Prototypes

    Q1: I need “up close and personal” to show how my product works. Building prototypes for video may be expensive, but isn’t 3D animation even more complex and costly?

    A: 3D animation eliminates the “prototype money pit.” Explaining complex product features is all about highlighting details and inner workings. That’s why video demo shoots can be such a pain. They require extensive prep work – from set building and prop design to construction of prototypes and removable product housing to let the viewer “see through” to internal working parts.

    Let’s face it – building a set or model for a video shoot can drain resources fast – in terms of time, labor and materials.

    Just say no to prototypes. 3D animation lets you easily “drill down” to show a cutaway or cross-section of your product without building an expensive model or prototype. The front panel peels off by itself, nuts and bolts fly away – and voila! – your product’s inner workings are easily and clearly displayed!

    Check out the Whirlpool animation below for an example of clean animated cutaways:

     

    3D animation can help you cut a huge line-item expense out of your next product demonstration budget.
    [Read more…]

    QR Codes, After the Sale [Infographic]

    After the Sale: Using QR Codes to Deliver on Product PromisesThere’s a lot of hype around QR codes as one-click sales and marketing tools. And we’ve seen a ton of executions aimed at wooing consumers before the sale – links to promotional content, online reviews, slick branding videos and landing pages.

    But what about after you’ve gotten the customer to fall in love with your product and take it home?

    Here’s where consumers get left in the lurch – feeling frustrated, abandoned and on their own. Confusing printed instruction manuals leave them with questions. User error leads to lack of confidence in the product (and the brand). Improper assembly leads to product damage. And, all of that confusion and frustration leads to customer service calls, complaints and returns.

    Keeping the customer satisfied is as critical as securing the initial sale.

    QR codes that deliver instructional animation help boost customer satisfaction and reduce service incidents and returns. Animation makes “how-to” steps simple and surpasses video in its demonstrative ability. Easy access to guided instructions via QR code and a mobile device, puts help on-hand to squelch customer frustrations the very moment they arise. When done well, QR codes can head off consumer frustration altogether by following through on the promises made before the sale.

    [Read more…]

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5When it comes to web-based interactive content and cross-browser compatibility, the future is here and it’s HTML5. The problem is: not everyone’s on board yet.

    In a previous post, we dove into HTML5 – a programming language built into the latest browsers to support multimedia and graphics display without the use of third-party plugins like Flash. It’s recommended to ensure that your interactive content is accessible by the rapidly-growing population of iPad and mobile web surfers whose devices typically won’t display Flash. With mobile devices driving nearly 7% of US web traffic currently and projected to surpass desktop usage by 2014, mobile users can’t be ignored.

    But you can’t neglect desktop users and slow adopters either. There are still a significant number of desktop users with outdated operating systems and browsers – especially in corporate offices where many people access the internet during the workday. Companies who invested in machines running the Windows XP operating system can’t upgrade beyond Internet Explorer 8 (IE’s last non-HTML5 version) because IE stopped supporting XP with its version 9 release (CNET).

    Corporate users running Windows XP and IE8 are a top reason that you still need a Flash fallback. For many reasons, a whopping 31.4% are still holding out with XP and haven’t upgraded to Vista or Windows 7 (w3Schools). And Windows XP means no HTML5 capabilities without an operating system upgrade or a switch to Firefox, Chrome, or another compatible browser.

    [Read more…]

    Why You Can’t Ignore HTML5 Much Longer

    HTML5 LogoGot questions about Flash®, HTML5 and cross-browser compatibility? You’re not alone. Since we began rolling out our interactive solutions in HTML5, we’ve received quite a few questions. So we’ve decided to address some of them on our blog but feel free to keep the questions coming.

    Why can’t I see my interactive content on my iPad or mobile phone?

    Interactive presentations, games and applications have traditionally been designed in Flash – which requires a downloaded plugin for display. But most of today’s mobile devices and tablet PCs can’t play Flash – leaving your web content inaccessible to many users. Manufacturers like Apple® cite performance, security and drain on battery life as reasons for abandoning the Flash mobile plugin.

    Why mobile users can’t be ignored:

    • Mobile devices are driving nearly 7% of US web traffic and growing. (Cnet) Tweet It!
    • That non-computer digital traffic is made up of tablets (1.9%), mobile phones (4.4%) and “other devices” (.5) namely the iPod Touch. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • Apple’s non-Flash mobile devices (iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch®) account for 43.1% of that mobile web traffic. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • The iPad accounts for 97.2% of tablet traffic specifically. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • By 2014, mobile internet usage is projected to surpass desktop usage. (DigitalBuzz) Tweet It!
    • 44% of Americans already own smartphones (redOrbit) Tweet It!
    • 75% of consumers use a mobile device in the retail buying process. (Verve Wireless) Tweet It!
    • More stats

    [Read more…]