When people think about Atlanta companies, names like Coca-Cola, CNN, Turner, The Home Depot, and Delta are usually the first ones to come to mind. Often overlooked is the Atlanta technology startup scene, which is one of the fastest growing and most exciting in the country. A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting 4th Wall Technologies, an augmented reality startup, at the annual Startup Riot event here in Atlanta. At the time, they were experimenting with a small business signage based exploration AR app called Treasure Hunt. Fast forward a couple years and the company has evolved their AR capabilities to expand into a new medium: television.
Augo is their newest project and expected to launch publicly in the near future. It is a second screen app to render interactive games and experiences for television viewers. Unlike most second screen executions which work off audio content recognition (ACR), Augo uses visual triggers to sync with the television – similar to AR triggers from visual static imagery on signage and print mediums. Recently, I had a chat with Anil Rohatgi, co-founder & CTO of 4th Wall Technologies, to discuss their new app:
AR: Using the camera allows us to not only recognize the commercial, but gives us the capability to integrate the augmented reality components directly into the ad experience. This gives Augo the advantage of creating a single and continuous user experience. With other technologies like Shazam, the content on both of the screens is disjointed. The user’s attention is being drawn away from one screen to look at the other. With Augo, the content on both screens are integrated together, so the overall user experience is not disrupted. The brand is coming to you, through the TV screen, on your mobile device.
AR: Augo will be a standalone direct to consumer app that is free to download. Brands can pay to create an Augo Experience, but those will all be driven through the app. This is done to avoid any potential confusion for the user (like with QR codes). Watch TV, see the logo, launch Augo. We want it to be that simple.
AR: The technology behind Augo is versatile enough to be used on multiple platforms, but right now our efforts are focused on the TV market. Each platform comes with its own unique challenges, so we are trying to tackle them one at a time.
AR: The types of companies we targeting for Augo are forward thinking ad agencies that are looking for new and creative ways to engage their consumers. One great example is Frito Lays use of interactive gaming for the successful “Cheetapult” campaign. These types of agencies would be ideal candidates as early adopters for Augo.