The Virtual World Edges Closer With Zappar

App that brings images to life may forever change the face of marketing

If the front cover of your favourite magazine started speaking to you, you might assume it was time to take a holiday. Thanks to Zappar however, this ‘Harry Potter-style’ technology not only exists, but can be found in the December issues of Cosmopolitan, Company and Harper’s Bazaar.

Zappar is an ‘augmented reality’ (or AR) app that brings printed images to life through the camera lens of a mobile phone or tablet. Hold your phone over a Zappar powered picture and you will find celebrities can talk to you, plain text can burst into flames and zombies can appear through portholes in the floor.

Caspar Thykier, Managing Director of Zappar, says: “Augmented reality allows the real-world and the virtual world to become fused as printed images that are silent and motionless, appear to develop interactive capabilities complete with mind-boggling visuals and sound.”

Originally created by PhD students Simon Taylor and Connell Gauld at the University of Cambridge, Zappar now has a whole team of artists and developers who continually push the boundaries of the technology. Exciting projects to date have included a ground-breaking advertising campaign with Warner Brothers and the Green Lantern theatrical release. When those in the know viewed what looked like an ordinary film poster through their phone, they could in fact see a glowing, moving, speaking image and a very large gun pointing towards them. Users could also interact with the poster by touching the green lantern symbol and watching the trailer.

“Zappar puts a magical and entertaining lens on everyday objects,” says Caspar. “Rather than just looking at a film poster, users can access bite-size entertainment which allows them to truly engage with the brand.”

Thanks to a recent partnership between Zappar and Hearst Magazines, readers of three of their publications can view hidden material on this month’s front covers. A ‘zap’ from any compatible Apple or Android device reveals Jessie J talking about the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards and Caroline Flack giving an extra special introduction to the ‘Little Black Dress’ issue of Company. For readers of Harper’s Bazaar, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage featuring five of the world’s top supermodels is available to watch on the front of the magazine.

In case interactive magazines aren’t novel enough, how about a t-shirt that can be transformed into a video game? Zapparrel have launched 20 designs which, as with the images on paper, can be set in motion through the screen of a phone.

“Zappar technology can engage wide-ranging audiences by adding a stimulating and playful element to the types of promotional campaign we are exposed to every day,” adds Caspar. “Film, fashion, music and sport can all be brought to life through innovative applications that aim to enhance consumer experience.”

Written by Rachel Holdsworth

This entry was posted in Apps, B2B, Consumer, Meerkats & Avatars 2011, Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.