Have you ever heard of augmented reality? The principle is simple. It consists of projecting the virtual on the real in order to enhance the natural environment thanks to digital data. This is the concept on which the Sekai Camera application, a service launched by Japanese start-up Tonchidot, rests. Thanks to a camera and GPS, this application enables one to acquire data on physical constituents that have been “geo-tagged”. This content is then superimposed over the image on the screen to create a product’s, service’s or person’s dossier. Original, innovative and revolutionary, this tool offers opportunities that may have been thought impossible until now.
By filming the world around you, it will be possible to collect digital data on objects and people. Thanks to tags (little bubbles) that appear on the iPhone screen, one can become a perfectly educated customer.
You are at the supermarket and wish to find out more about a new product. You film, click on the tag, and it shows you information such as the price, the composition, and distribution locations. In fact, you can even reserve it, or buy it via an e-commerce website.
You are in front of a billboard advertising an exhibit at a museum. Unfortunately, you are not familiar with any of the artists. Shoot, click, and you will immediately have access to their practices and what kind of art they create.
You are walking around the city looking for a restaurant to dine at. You click on the “restaurant finder” mode, and based on where you are, tags show up on the screen with menus, prices and customer comments. With this application it is also possible to post comments on places and establishments you have visited. If your friends happen to be in the area and also have the application, they could benefit from your comments.
Last example, you are at the Marketing 2.0 Conference organized by Vanksen. Mr. X is speaking, you film him, and you instantly know his name, his occupation and professional status. Up to you send him a message if you please.
I’m sure that you can now appreciate the potential of this application. There are numerous uses, and unimaginable advantages! For the moment, this application is in small scale production, only available to the cell phone savvy Japanese market. It will take some time and numerous collaborations between cell phone companies, advertising agencies, e-commerce sites and content suppliers until the wonderful application is available on the European or American market.
In short, Sekai Camera might become a must-have for consumers as well as professionals. And even more importantly, new sectors could be born out of it, ones that could eventually participate in rebuilding our world in crisis. Despite this huge potential, we will have to patiently wait for its availability and use on the American and European fronts.
For more information on the application, below is a video of the presentation that took place at the Marketing 2.0 Conference: