Brief Reality: Mobile AR Apps Help Save Rhinos (& Sell Stuff)

Mobile AR Apps Help Save Rhinos (& Sell Stuff)

Mobile apps themselves are not always the end product or service for generating revenue. More often, they are deployed as tactics within a larger marketing or public relations strategy.

For product manufacturers, apps can be used to sell anything from drinks and chips (by way of a giveaway promotion) or to casino equipment and rugs. For conservationists, apps can be employed to help raise awareness of endangered or threatened species.

With the growing popularity of augmented reality, marketing and PR teams can get a bit more creative with the approach.

AR App to Raise Awareness of Threatened Rhinos

A multimedia campaign to aimed at eliminating rhino poaching worldwide includes the installment of an interactive sculpture in New York City next year and the launch of an accompanying augmented reality app on Apple's App Store.

The mobile app will allow visitors to interact with the life-size bronze sculpture of the three surviving members of the nearly-extinct Northern White Rhino species. The app will virtually transport visitors to Kenya, allowing them to interact with the rhinos, named Sudan, Najin, and Fatu, in real time. The AR experience will be geofenced to the sculpture's location.

Created by artists Gillie and Marc, the sculpture will be unveiled at Astor Place in Jan. 2018, with a live broadcast by Nat Geo Wild. The sculture will remain there until April 15, when it will be moved to Rockefeller Center.

The public is urged to leave farewell messages for the rhinos and sign a petition urging the United Nations to end rhino poaching through the Goodbye Rhinos website. The goal of the campaign is to attain one million signatures.

The app is developed by INDE; a sample of their work is featured below.

Win an Xbox One X via Augmented Reality

While Microsoft's latest gaming console, the Xbox One X, will be available on Nov. 7, the philanthropists at Mountain Dew and Doritos are giving gamers a chance to win one through a location-based augmented reality version capture the flag.

Dubbed "The Drop Zone," the event takes place in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago the weekend of Nov. 10. Players register for a location to capture with the requisite mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play) and deploy virtual offensive and defensive power-ups to find and control a virtual console.

Image via Pepsico

"DEW and Doritos are known for providing gamers with unique ways to access exclusive gaming experiences. We're upping the ante with the introduction of The Drop Zone experience this fall. The augmented-reality capture-the-flag experience is going to be off the charts for gaming fans nationwide," said Ryan Matiyow, senior director of marketing at Doritos.

The game ties into an online auction that the brands have concocted to allow customers to bid on the consoles using points from purchases of their products.

Visualize Casino Equipment & Area Rugs in AR

For sellers of just about any physical product, AR apps that show customers what things look like could be as ubiquitous as their websites.

REVIGLiOS, a mobile app maker formerly known as Big Ben Parliament Creations, has developed a custom mobile app for companies in the casino and gaming industry that enables them to view how slot machines, gaming tables, and other accouterments would look on the casino floor.

Meanwhile, rug maker Feizy has partnered with developer MicroD to package the later's OmniVue web platform for rug dealers to implement on their own websites. The tool will enable dealers to show their customers what various rugs will look like in their living room.

Every Tuesday, Next Reality gives readers a rundown of the augmented and mixed reality news briefs from the preceding week that we didn't cover already. This way, you'll never miss anything of importance in the Next Reality landscape, and will always know what's going on with new augmented and mixed reality tech and applications. You can browse previous Brief Reality reports, too, if you'd like.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image via Gillie and Marc

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