Bangalore, India and NYC-based TELiBrahma today announced the U.S. launch of its augmented reality (AR) app, Point. The company will look to boost consumer engagement for both brands and media companies and help them create augmented print ads, showing people enhanced information once they scan augmented print materials. The company has already helped brands like Dove, Nokia, and Nike leverage the technology in India, and the company was also one of 10 Indian companies that received a $40 million investment from Intel Capital in November 2011. It has also previously raised capital from Inventus Capital Partners and Ojas Venture Partners, among others.
CEO Suresh Narasimha spoke with BetaKit about the potential of augmented reality and how TELiBrahma has been able to work with some of the world’s top brand on their ad campaigns. “We are focused on retail advertising and media…we’ve expanded our operations in Singapore, Australia, and in the U.S. we’ve started piloting and now are getting ready for the full-fledged launch,” said Narasimha. “We go vertical by vertical, for example we go to real estate with a specific location that address every single challenge that consumers and businesses in the industry face…while the technology is horizontal, our approach to business is vertical.”
TELiBrahma’s Point app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and using the app advertisers and media publishers can create augmented experiences for consumers. Point lets brands augment their print ads, logos, images, and QR codes, which when scanned by consumers display multimedia content including YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and Twitter profiles.
For example the company has worked with The Times Of India so that after scanning the front page of its print edition with Point, users are redirected to video coverage of the events that made headlines that day. They also augment print ads for auto manufacturers, real estate companies and apparel companies, creating a 3D model overlay once the image has been scanned, for example showing interactive material on top of flyers or advertisements.
With AR enthusiasts waiting for the arrival of Google Glass and other wearable AR technology, smartphones coupled with AR-enabled apps are leading the way for what Juniper Research predicts is an industry that will grow to $1.5 billion by 2015. Whether it’s DIY solutions like layar or custom services like that of TELiBrahma, with others like Total Immersion and AR agency Ad-Dispatch in the mix, brands and media companies will have an increasing array of options to better cater augmented content to consumers.
Narasimha added that because his company already has some success with several key industries they are well positioned to approach brands and advertisers with existing case studies and metrics to back their solutions. With the launch of Point in the U.S., the company will also be looking to bring another product it already has seen significant traction with in India called Buzz, a location-based personalized content delivery app that uses geo-fencing to target consumers as they enter a retail location.
Although AR technology cuts QR codes out of the equation, it will still be some time before scanning a print advertisement or piece of content with an AR app becomes commonplace for consumers. Given that it still requires a fair bit of legwork in pulling out the phone, opening the app, pointing to the image, and waiting for the content to load, automatic experiences enabled by wearable AR like Google Glass might be the key to driving AR adoption in the next few years.