flyAR: Jump head-first into the world of augmented reality
By Ndéla Faye | Photos: flyAR
From fun, interactive ways to drive engagement to visually explaining complex concepts, augmented reality (AR) is becoming an attractive resource for many businesses. To demonstrate its endless potential, flyAR is proud to showcase the first-ever augmented reality demo to be featured in Scan Magazine. Scan the QR code for an awesome company tour!
The world of AR is developing at lightning speed, and the advances made in just a few years have been monumental. Gone are the days when people needed to download an app in order to view augmented reality content. These days, augmented reality content runs within mobile browsers as web-based AR – called webAR. WebAR-content can be accessed easily via QR codes, that are scanned automatically using a mobile phone’s camera.
“For example, the AR-experience featured in this magazine is a living scale model of our office in Tikkurila, Finland. These days, launching webAR is quick and easy, and there are plenty of options for what information and types of digital content to share with people,” flyAR’s CEO Frans Tihveräinen explains.
flyAR is a creative augmented reality (AR) studio that offers tailor-made augmented reality solutions for business clients, cities and museums. Their business story began in 2017, when Tihveräinen and his friend, Eero Salminen took part in an Industryhack-facilitated innovation challenge for Stora Enso – and won. Together, the two founders have almost 20 years’ combined experience in the world of extended reality. They built flyAR on a philosophy of playfulness mixed with professionalism – and infinite amounts of creativity.
For flyAR, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the business potential of augmented reality. “What sets us apart from other AR companies is that we are a creative and platform-independent AR studio, and not a technology company. We are creative engineers and engineer-y creatives who like to push the boundaries of technology and create experimental and innovative solutions.” In addition to AR production work, their expert services include bespoke hands-on AR workshops, and consultation for businesses, cities and schools.
Making complex concepts easier to digest
With the help of AR, even complex concepts can be explained quickly and easily. Recently, flyAR did exactly that with a big construction company. “Development projects always include 3D blueprints of the project, so why not make it a 3D AR presentation of the project?” Tihveräinen posits.
And that is exactly what flyAR did in a recent project for their client NCC Property Development, where a living-scale model of a new residential area was presented to residents in the area on a flyer. The residents were able to give feedback on the development via official city channels through links embedded in the webAR flyer. “We included fun animated details; traffic, trains and tiny little humans too,” he explains.
A single AR experience can include many types of digital media content; animated 3D-models, audio, video, images (including 360), text information and links. AR-optimised and lightweight 3D content can also be easily embedded into websites, bringing visitors one step closer to the brand’s product, for example.
Another one of flyAR’s recent projects includes Elävät Juuret, a webAR experience for ten museums around Lake Tuusula in southern Finland. The project included a cute and playful animated 3D-model of the region in which the cluster of museums are based. This allowed visitors to get a sneak peek into each museum through 360-images and gain an understanding of how close to each other the museums are.
In addition, it included a treasure-hunt functionality, where users could scan unique AR treasure images when they were in the museums in exchange for real-life prizes. “This was a fun project, and an excellent way to make information-heavy content more accessible to visitors in the area,” says Tihveräinen.
flyAR has augmented reality for one of the world’s leading high-end beauty brands, internationally-renowned creative agencies, and numerous businesses from the fields of marketing, construction, education and science.
Example of an interactive and animated 3D-embed.
“The best AR ideas are yet to be discovered”
Tihveräinen cannot understand why AR is not used by more brands and businesses: “I know it’s my job, but I really think AR is a perfect way for businesses and organisations to share and communicate about their ideas, products and services. WebAR can be utilised on practically anything printed, including packaging, as a way for companies and brands to engage with their audience,” he explains.
Social media apps have been a driving force for AR development, and apps such as SnapChat, TikTok and Instagram have brought social AR possibilities a step further, and closer to our daily lives. He believes the best ideas in AR are yet to be discovered. “With AR, your imagination is the limit. If clients don’t even know what it can be used for, they can’t make use of it. That’s why we’re here,” he concludes.
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