Last week, the tech world was buzzing with the announcement of the new OnePlus Nord launch. This event generated a lot of hype. After all it was marketed as the world’s first ever live product launch in Augmented Reality (AR). This meant that you could watch the unveiling of the new phone in 3D right in the comfort of your home! Post OnePLus Nord launch, the internet is still as abuzz with the event flow as the product itself. This makes us wonder; has OnePlus impacted the XR industry more than the Smartphone industry with this event?

What do I need to experience the OnePLus Nord Launch in Augmented Reality?

To be a part of the augmented reality event all you needed was a smartphone. The company had a free version and a paid version for enthusiasts. You could purchase an invite that would act as a tracker. This tracker gave you the feeling of holding the phone in your hand. You could also just download the OnePlus Nord app for free and watch the launch. After setting-up your avatar and scanning the barcode, you could watch the live event in AR right in front of you. Likewise, social media channels had a live stream of the augmented reality launch on popular video streaming and photo sharing apps. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Creating the Augmented Reality experience:

The event was curated in a simple yet effective way. The video feed was pre-recorded before a  green screen. For the phone demo, the company made 3D models of the phone and the internal electronics. After texturing the models, animating the 3D model and the required  annotations, the video and the augmented reality experience were sequenced into a package. This package was coded natively for iOS and Android. Hence, the application could run in the in-built browser of your phone and the event was streamed live. The AR technology behind the launch was developed using WebAR. WebAR  creates an AR experience that’s viewed on a webpage.

I’m a Marketing Executive. What does an Augmented Reality product launch like the OnePLus Nord Launch have for me?

With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still largely prevalent, live events seem like a thing of the past. At the same time, new product cycles will not stop. Instead, companies will have to come up with innovative ways to conduct these events. The 2020 WWDC set the bar very high for a pre-recorded event and OnePlus followed suit. With an event conducted in augmented reality, the users are made to feel a part of the event. 

Augmented reality allows the user to visualise the products as close to reality as possible. By showcasing the 3D model of the product supported with informative annotations and animations, the user can experience the product as if they are actually holding it. All of this is possible from the comfort of their home. Over 150,000 people tuned in live on the app and viewed the OnePLus Nord launch. This is a staggering number considering live events fail to get such large audiences. Let alone experiencing the product in real time. This marketing technique not only generates hype but also creates an experience to showcase a product demo to a large audience in a controlled environment. 

Is this the Future of Marketing?

The OnePLus Nord launch in augmented reality can be viewed as a benchmark for a product or a service launch in the near future. Augmented reality is more of a reality in our lives than we think. For instance, the filters on apps like Snapchat and Instagram use on these are powered by augmented reality. 

There are a couple of advantages of such a launch in augmented reality. First off, you don’t need expensive technology to view objects in AR. You only need a smartphone or a tablet. Secondly, in times like these which prohibit large gatherings of people, AR can step in and support marketing initiatives. You’re also able to reach a larger audience and engage them in ways only one can imagine. Lastly, since such an event can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet, promotional and logistical costs are lowered. Companies can instead invest these funds in developing the user experience which in turn drives sales. 

The possibilities for Augmented Reality events are endless:

With the success of the Nord event, more companies are opting for AR events from various industries. Consumer electronics, automobile, real estate and more are showing an interest in trying out something new. Immersive media allows your users to view your latest products in innovative ways and in the comfort and safety of their homes. 

Take an example of a car launch. An augmented reality experience can help users explore additional features in real time and try out customized options for the car. The users can also enjoy creating car specifications suited to their needs. This creates an engaging environment and helps build an emotional connect with the product. For an industry like real estate,  you can showcase additional features like multiple properties at different locations, on-site amenities and surrounding views even before the  actual construction begins.

When speaking of services, the live music industry is pushing the boundaries with engaging and life-like graphics that you can see on your mobile devices. These events could be pre-recorded and have the potential to be streamed in real time. If you look at the sports industry, the NBA is at the forefront of using augmented reality tech for their live games. Real time graphics overplayed on the court and 3D replays have added massively to the user experience for game enthusiasts. The possibilities for events in AR are endless and VR2ality is here for it!

Tell us what product or service or event you’d like to experience in augmented reality!


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