Third Aurora AR platform could satisfy thirst for new consumer connections

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The augmented reality platform from Third Aurora that recognises the shape and packaging of popular beer, ciders and soft-drinks could create an exciting new point of contact for brands and consumers

Quick read

➨ Australia-based Third Aurora’s platform, slated for an early 2021 release, enables consumers to uncover information about their favourite beer, cider or soft-drink by scanning the container with their smartphone
➨ Third Aurora has already enjoyed success with a version for wine brands
➨ Crucially, the augmented reality platform doesn’t rely on QR codes. Third Aurora’s app recognises the shape and printing already on the can or bottle, and then brings the display to life

The story

The new augmented reality platform from Third Aurora will become “an important part of consumer engagement” for most beverage brands, according to its creators.

Australia-based Third Aurora’s platform, slated for an early 2021 release, enables consumers to uncover information about their favourite beer, cider or soft-drink by scanning the container with their smartphone.

Third Aurora has already enjoyed success with a version for wine brands and managing director Dave Chaffey, a successful entrepreneur who founded the company with experienced coder Luke Chaffey and software developer Matthew Hallberg, says breweries and soft and energy drink brands are expressing an interest in this new way to engage with consumers.

He says: “We’re certain that this will be an important part of consumer engagement for most brands. There’s a novelty factor right now, and if you put that aside, it makes perfect sense that the packaging is the point of contact with a consumer.”

“There’s a sense of discovery, and really, it’s almost intuitive that the best place to engage with a brand is from the product itself, particularly for the generations who have grown up with mobile phones, always-on-digital, and social media.”

Chaffey adds: “There’s two other points worth noting, which make this such an opportunity—it’s the shortest path to purchase for consumers, and an incredible data opportunity to understand consumers better.”

Crucially, the augmented reality platform doesn’t rely on QR codes. Third Aurora’s app recognises the shape and printing already on the can or bottle, and then brings the display to life.

Chaffey says: “Technology has progressed very quickly. With modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, there is the capability to identify and read labels without the need for a QR code, or any code. The technology from a phone has reached a level where it is as good, if not better than the naked eye at discerning package differences. It’s quite incredible really.”

“Once we could be certain of identification, then the focus moved to the technical challenges, of bringing together a number of cutting-edge technologies: augmented reality, smartphone apps, web applications, social media, cloud data and analytics. There was quite a bit of work to bring this all together—it’s been the better part of a year and a half’s work.”

The result of that work is a web-based platform for brands and an app for consumers that can produce an augmented reality overlay, activated with a smartphone.

Beverage brands are able to connect with consumers at the point of the product via a 3D 360° animated display featuring multimedia content, which can be updated in real time. Consumers are able to interact with the experience and navigate it via virtual buttons.

Third Aurora opened the platform for early access partners in September. Chaffey says: “We’re really looking forward to developing the concept further.”

“Fundamentals matter—this concept has to deliver unmatchable value for manufacturers, whilst enabling them to offer valued and varied experiences for consumers. We’re creating a journey of discovery for consumers, and we’re looking forward to developing those journeys to provide the optimum experiences.”

Further updates to the platform are in the pipeline, according to Chaffey, with Third Aurora’s developers working on auto-translated content, location-dependent content, and data analysis. 

There is also “a clear opportunity” to adapt the platform across to other sectors. Chaffey says: “We’re really looking forward to expanding those frontiers.”

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Images: Third Aurora

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