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    5 Best Examples Of An Augmented Product

    An augmented product is a product that has been designed by its seller to include several additional benefits and features beyond just the physical product. Usually, these additional benefits come in the form of intangible features and services that accompany the purchase of that product.

    Product augmentation is a marketing strategy that brands and businesses use to distinguish their products and offers from those of competitors and to make them more valuable than what competitors are offering. To the customer, it is like getting more value for their money.

    An augmented product is not a different kind of product; the actual product doesn’t change. Rather, product augmentation just means the product comes with a lot of added value.

    Intangible Benefits for Augmenting Products

    What are some of these additional (intangible) values that can be augmented?

    Warranty: This is a very common example of intangible features a product can be augmented with. A warranty is your promise to a customer, that if there is a fault on a product (within a specified period), it will get sorted out.

    Free delivery: A promise to handle the delivery of a product to a customer can increase the value of the money the customer is paying for it.

    In-home installation and configuration: Sending your technician to the customer’s home to install a product bought.

    Updates: This applies mostly to software products. It involves providing periodic updates to the software, which the customer won’t pay for.

    Customer service and customer experience: Some things like having a conducive retail outlet with great ambiance and amazing customer service, also form part of product augmentation.

    Others are:

    • Financing
    • Free gifts
    • Coupons
    • Free snacks while at the retail outlet
    • Ticket to events
    • Free product trial, etc.

    Examples of Augmented Products

    Apple TV

    When Apple launched its video and TV streaming service earlier in 2019, it devised a way to create awareness about it and get people to start using the service. What it did was to offer Apple TV as an augmentation for the purchase of certain Apple devices. The message on their official website stated thus: “Starting today, customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free.”

    What that meant was that Apple products, such as Apple TV, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad, would become augmented with Apple TV+ for one year. So, when a customer buys any of these devices, the customer gets to enjoy the benefit of using the Apple TV+ service for free for a period of one year.

    Laptop + carry bag

    Sometimes, when you go to buy a laptop, some companies offer a laptop carry bag along with it, and you don’t have to pay for the bag. It may not be a carry bag, but maybe a wireless keyboard or mouse. But whichever one it is, what you have is an example of an augmented product. The laptop is the actual product, but the other items are the augmentation done by the company.

    Television warranty

    Different manufacturers give a warranty on their products. For instance, a television manufacturer who chooses to give up to 5 years warranty each LED television purchased augmenting the products with the free warranty. The actual product the buyer is paying for is the LED television, but in addition to that (and for the same price), the buyer gets a warranty.

    E-commerce shops

    One of the ways many e-commerce platforms drive more sales is through product augmentation. An e-commerce site offering free shipping for products from a certain price level, or a free phone accessory with the purchase of a phone, etc., are examples of augmented products.

    Telecom Operators

    You should be familiar with this one. Telecom operators often provide free SMS and free data alongside voice calling plans to their customers. This is a good example of an augmented product. The customer only pays for the voice calls (the actual product), while getting data and SMS for free.

    References:

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    Augmented Reality (AR) Drone Hits Android

    ar drone

    There is no doubt about it, the AR Drone looks like a seriously fun piece of kit. Unfortunately, however, it been an iPhone/iPad exclusive since launch until now that is. Android owners dust off your wallet and break out the credit card because the AR Drone is now available for you too!

    The AR Drone in case you haven’t seen it is an indoor/outdoor remote-controlled helicopter, or if you want to get technical a quadcopter. Unlike a helicopter it has 4 rotors that provide the lift and steering, the additional rotors also make it much easier to control, and with less of that unpredictable wobble factor. But what makes the AR Drone so much fun is it that it is fitted with not 1 but 2 cameras. The first camera provides a forward-facing view while the second points down to show what’s directly below, perfect for those aerial snapshots or incursions into the neighbor’s garden.

    ar drone

    To control the drone you’ll need a smartphone, either something running iOS or Android. Once connected via WiFi the phone will act as the controller providing you with the steering as well as the live camera feed from the drone. While that’s awesome enough, there are around 10 AR Drone applications available in the Android Marketplace. The current batch of apps includes stats about your flight (eg height, distance, speed), create automatic fight paths for your drone to follow, or race your drone against friends.

    iOS has slightly more applications available including a true augmented reality game where you race around one of five virtual circuits. I’m sure its only a matter of time before it hits the Android.

    The only downside to the AR Drone is the cost. It will set you back around £240 which is by no means cheap. But it is fair to say that this is not a toy, it’s a serious piece of flying kit that also enables a realistic game experience.  I’ll get my hands on one and give you the full review soon.

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    Augmented Reality Games, A Fad Too Far?

    augmented reality gaming

    Nothing better than relaxing by switching on the TV games, killing a few aliens or shooting a few bad guys from the comfort of the living room chair. I even partake in the odd iPhone game from time to time as I enjoy a spot of casual gaming.  However, is it just me or are augmented reality game developers going out their way to get me out the house?

    There are a couple of augmented reality, geo-location aware games available across Nokia, iPhone, and Android platforms that require you to leave the comfort of your home to play them. Gigaputt for example is an urban golf game where your neighbourhood becomes the course. You make your way around the course by walking from one location to another using Google Maps to navigate, and to putt the ball in the hole using your iPhone.

    Fortunately for urban sloth’s like myself the game has a Snoring Mode where you can play indoors with out the need to venture into the great outdoors.

    TagDis is another example of a geo-location game that uses augmented reality. With TagDis you drop graffiti at your current location in your bid to become the king of an area. It’s simple and addictive as you’re free to use it at anytime and anywhere. I have my lazy moments where I sit on the train seeing how many tags I can drop before we go in to a tunnel. As a result, I own pretty much all of East London now.

    augmented reality gaming

    Nokia entered the augmented reality gaming market with a game called ‘Conspiracy For Good’. The game developed in conjunction with Tim Kring (the director of Heroes), sees players pit their wits against a corrupt company, using their Nokia device players can take on assignments in their city to help bring the company down. Rather than being a simple game where you wonder aimlessly to the end of the road and back, participants need to follow clues on the games website. These clues will require the player to travel to locations and point at objects and images in the real-world using the devices camera to discover the next clue.  The production values for Conspiracy For Good are high with lots of conspiracy type movies to engage players so full credit to Nokia for putting in the effort.

    Conspiracy For Good

    Personally I am not sold on the theme for this particular game, political thrillers, corruption and global self-awareness are not something I find interesting outside of a Tom Clancy novel, but that’s just me, I think if the concept and story is right it could be an interesting idea.

    Are games like Conspiracy For Good where you need to actively travel your city to solve problems the type of games that you mobile/augmented reality gamers want to play, or are these games a fad doomed to have been a nice idea?

     

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    Augmented Reality Player And The Future Of Sport

    augmented reality sport

    Augmented Reality Player: Some several months back I blogged about an augmented reality solution called Seer that was implemented at Wimbledon. The solution was ingenious, use your Android device to find out how long the bathroom or food lines are as well as get relevant information on the games in play. Scores, statistics that type of thing all from the comfort of your seat. Not only do you know what is happening with the game but you now the perfect time to go to the bathroom and grab a hotdog on the way back. 

    Inaugment is a start-up company that is looking at changing the way we view sports by combining a similar augmented reality solution for all sporting events.

    The future of sport

    Golf is an obvious candidate that would benefit from such a solution. If you are sitting at the 7th green is hard to know what is happening at other locations on the course, with an Inaugment augmented reality solution you would be able to point your device in the general direction of the hole you are interested in and get up to date scores and player information on the game taking place. In the video below Inaugment talk about solutions for baseball games, when a player steps up to the plate you are able to click on him and get his relevant stats. If you are fanatical about a sport you want to know everything about a player.

    augmented reality football

     

    When I saw the Seer video I thought it would be fantastic if the technology could be applied to a football match. Being able to click on a player, get his stats, how far he as run, how many passes he has completed, etc all live during a game would be pretty amazing. Especially when you haven’t seen that played before. I have a friend who occasionally works for various TV stations on football events overlaying the graphics that show scores and other game stats. A lot of information is tracked in real-time by various companies and is available at the touch of a button. The data is there, the question is how do you make that information available and useful to be consumed by the public.

    Could this be the future of sports?

    Static games like golf or tennis are somewhat easy to manage as the player’s exact location is not that important, but in an augmented reality world with fast paced games like football, the problem is how do you track 22 players around a pitch in real-time and determine who is who? If you want to combine a Sims style icon over every player on the field then you need some pretty good tracking. Interestingly the Inaugment guys say they are working with a company that has the tracking technology to do this so perhaps at next years world cup we’ll see some really cool augmented reality solutions.

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    NFC and Augmented Reality. The wave of the future?

    Augmented Reality and NFC

    OEMs are climbing over themselves to put NFC into the latest and greatest mobile phones and within just a few years we are expected to pay for items just by pressing our smartphone against the special receivers. It’s surprising how many people (especially here the UK) think that NFC is a new technology. That Oyster card you use every day to pay for your ticket to work is a good example of NFC payments in action. In the very near future handset manufactures will be vying for you to ditch the Oyster card, and your credit card and make payments using your phone instead.

    Before I get to the AR part, the talk this morning was around pushing NFC into mobile. Of course, credit card companies will be pushing NFC enabled cards too (there are some available already) so which system becomes the most popular is anyone’s guess. Phones are pretty much ubiquitous and an item that is always with you, but becoming my digital wallet at the same time is a little too much of ‘too many eggs in the one basket’ for my liking. The other an answered question is what kinds of phones will we be using in the future. Will our mobile devices continue to be smartphones or will we see AR enabled glasses with calling capabilities?

    Assuming it’s the latter, and my disclaimer here is I still think glasses are 15 years away. It’s never a popular view particularly with those that want them now or those that are making them, but show me something that works with the services I want and I’ll reconsider. In our AR enabled future where glasses have replaced the smartphone, AR glasses would be able to use GPS  or NFC to determine the wearer’s current location to validate payments. Taking your glasses off and waving them over a receiver is not going to be practical but combing payments with GPS is interesting,  If your wallet is attempting to buy something from the high street but you are 100 miles away then it’s a good indication that it’s a fraudulent transaction. For those high value purchases using eye tracking or gestures enable you to make secure payments by entering a pin in a virtual world that only you can see.  If your glasses are stolen, without your pin the thief would be unable to go on a spending spree.

    Such a system could also be used to automatically validate a payment, for example, if the system detects that you have entered a train station the fare could be deducted from your wallet as soon as you begin traveling. There is of course no real reason why a smartphone can’t provide a present day version of this, but it interesting to imagine the ticket inspectors with a Layar or Wikitude showing who has a valid ticket and who is trying to avoid the fare.

    When I think about augmented reality I think more towards GPS for location than NFC, but perhaps AR will enable us to learn more about individual objects. For example, AR thanks to image recognition enables me to identify a chair as a chair, but it won’t give me the history behind that individual chair. Could NFC and AR become a way to store an objects identity and history?

    Perhaps there are even better ideas on how augmented reality and NFC complement each other or do you think they are mutually exclusive?

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    Augmented Reality Dating For The iPhone

    AR dating app

    As part of my talk, I was giving an overview of the opportunities and how companies can include augmented reality functionality in their existing solutions. One of the examples I gave was around online dating. Specifically, if you are single, wouldn’t it be great to be able to see who around you right now is single? After I had finished a company came up to me and in true ‘there’s an app for that’ fashion told me about their augmented reality dating application.

    AR dating app

    Street Spark is an augmented reality dating application for the iPhone that allows you to see other single people who are around you and send them private messages. The designers have actually put a lot of thought into the application and augmented reality actually feels useful rather than a bolt on. In fact, the designers have played down the augmented reality functionality all together so it doesn’t show up in the app store when searching for augmented reality.

    To avoid being spammed by psychos and bunny boilers, if you spot someone you like you can express your interest by ‘igniting’. If they reciprocate by igniting you back then you’ll be able to view their full profile and chat. If you don’t get on then you can simply ‘extinguish’ the spark and they can’t bother you again. Since you are more likely to get a spark if you have completed a good profile and uploaded a decent picture the format should work well.

    Rather than attempt to match you with people 50 miles away, you are able to sign into HotSpots, so if you visit let’s say London Soho you can sign in to the area and see who else is using the application around you, and that’s where the augmented reality view comes into effect.  Holding up the phone enters SparkView which shows you where your matches are located, how far away they are, your compatibility match rating as well the all-important profile picture. When they gave me a demo I was impressed, it’s well worth taking a look as the weekend is coming up.

    StreetSpark is free and you can download it here.

    Give it a try this weekend, I would be interested in how you got on.