Page 37 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
P. 37

                  March-April 2021 | | ACTIVE & INTELLIGENT
 “The biggest challenge we face, because the technology is still fairly new, is that most people I talk to don’t know what’s actually possible or achievable with AR. This is why we often have to get super creative and come up with ideas on behalf of the customer,” explains Atta.
“Most customers accept the idea that they need to be digitally connect- ing their products, but exactly how that can be done and through what type of experiences is what they often don’t know too well and it’s up to us to guide them through the process.”
“This consultation piece is some- thing I spend a lot of my time doing in the AR space. I am a passionate evangelist who loves to share our knowledge and experience with brand owners and marketers to help them better understand how they can best access the untapped power of AR. We see a future where AR is a widely adopted channel.”
So, what exactly is needed for AR packaging and labelling to be adopted on a massive scale? Atta dreams of an ideal world where technology com- panies like his are working closely with creative agencies and the brands themselves to push through these engaging campaigns.
This is proving to be quite difficult, as Atta explains, due to creative agen- cies, printing and packaging firms all still being quite traditional and conservative with regards to approaching their clients with new digital technology.
“The most frustrating part for me is how hard we have to work to prove the effectiveness of AR tech, we spend so much time and energy in piloting ideas and solutions with no real guarantees they will be adopted. The ideal strategy for us is to partner with creative agencies, print and packaging firms, where we demon- strate what our technology can do, and then hopefully they can ideate and use our skills to create exciting and engaging experiences, that they know will solve problems specifi- cally for their customers,” adds Atta.
“Our mission is to be the back office of sorts for the agency. That way they can do what they do best, which is create the ideas and
manage relationships, and we can focus on what we do best, develop- ing exciting and engaging AR expe- riences,” he says.
“What we find is that once we show what is possible, the real challenge is getting agencies and brand owners to actually start an AR project.”
Moving forward, Atta and his team aim to further advance the AR pack- aging and labelling space by experi- menting with ways in which they can cut out the need for an app and go for a more web-based AR platform.
Today, the technology is still largely dependent upon AR apps, which is why Dreemar is testing alternatives to app-based experiences that can be run directly from a user’s mobile browser.
This would essentially cut out the middle-man, and reduce the depen- dency on developing, testing and uploading an AR app on to app stores, and spending precious marketing resources to achieve high levels of adequate downloads.
We live in a world that is largely digital, [yet] physical products on the shelves... are largely static items.”
LEFT: Three main customer experience trends have emerged at the forefront for AR in packaging and labels – storytelling, gamification and promotion.
BELOW: Many brand owners and marketers are unaware of what is possible with AR. The creative scope is huge.
“The biggest barrier for entry into AR is that you have to use an app, and for some reason a lot of marketers and product owners are resistant to the idea, I figure it’s because they don’t want to spend extra time and resources promoting the use of an app, even though some apps deliver some seriously good feedback and customisation,” says Atta.
“Our focus for 2021 is to invest much of our money and time in developing a web-based AR approach as well as to continue to improve on our highly successful app business.”
WebAR uses the browser on your phone and in conjunction with a QR code to trigger an AR experience without the need for an app.
“That is the next phase in AR and that’s what we see as the main democ- ratising piece that will remove the ultimate barrier of the technology for brands and retailers.”
Watch this space in PKN for new developments. ■

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