The Future of Mobile: Augmented Reality!

10 May

What happens when mobile technology, motion sensor, GPS and coupon platform converge with the hottest technology trend Augmented Reality? A powerful mobile implementation!

Created by Japan’s Mobile Art Lab, the innovative free iPhone application iButterfly transforms the habit of collecting targeted promotional coupons into a fun and entertaining game using Augmented Reality and the mobile device’s GPS functions.

By looking through the app on the iPhone, users can find virtual butterflies flying around in the Augmented Reality world where this application is available. By shaking the mobile, users will be able to catch them physically. Once caught, users will then able to retrieve one or more coupons related to the location, beneficial information or content linked to the butterfly.

The app can also be used as butterflies collection album to be shared with friends via Bluetooth.

What do we love about this application?

  • The butterfly represents an “innocent” element to be collected by the user and some butterflies can become instant rewards as they include coupons from participating businesses.
  • It is a fun game that integrates a game-system such as Nintendo Wii: the physical-action of catching the butterfly! The user is required to raise the phone, spot the butterfly in the augmented reality, wait for the virtual butterfly to fly into the square, line up their target, then swipe their device through the air to “catch” it.
  • The app allows social sharing. The users don’t have to trade all their coupons, but they can choose to share, exchange or trade their butterflies with other friends.

iButterfly is a strategic platform which demonstrates how innovative usage of existing technology can transform mobile phones into personal media space in an engaging way.

I can’t wait to see other variations or creative ways businesses could use Augmented Reality to engage with their customers!


8 Responses to “The Future of Mobile: Augmented Reality!”

  1. Don Power May 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Hmmm…I gotta get a smartphone!

    Beautiful application of a complicated yet promising technology.

    Cheers Asmaa!

    – Don

  2. asmaamethqal May 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Thank You Don! I have a smartphone but now I wish the app was available in Canada! I would have enjoyed catching digital butterflies ;o)

  3. Jose Albis May 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I love the idea of the butterflies, and sharing them. It makes me wonder: After more than a few years we still get confused by people talking and laughing “to themselves” over their mic’d headphones. How many will be taken into mental hospitals because of catching “Butterflies” in the middle of the street.

  4. asmaamethqal May 11, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Funny José! I definitely believe I’ll be one of them!

    I really love this concept of finding something valuable in the street.. anywhere.. that I can catch and collect!

    What about finding artifacts in a museum? I am sure we can find many creative ways for AR in close environment, so we won’t lose many people to mental institutions 🙂

  5. ahmed elherbawi May 11, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    i like it ineed this

    good luck foor all and for company

  6. asmaamethqal May 11, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Thank You Ahmed! I am happy you enjoyed the post.

  7. JUHLi SELBy May 11, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    That is so cool! Thanks for sharing Asmaa! I would play. Funny comment Jose – I think as long as people can see a smart phone in your hand they won’t take you to the looney bin! People are willing to do crazy things in public for entertainment/fun. Here’s a video of an MP3 experiment that was done in NY City – I wondered how a business could use this idea for branding or relationship building…

  8. asmaamethqal May 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Thank you for sharing the video Juhli! You are right people are willing to do crazy things in public if it is fun for them! I am surprised that they all followed one voice! Good thing it finished with a party at the park! 😉

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