Shazam Wants to Mix Augmented Reality With Hornitos Tequila
If you think Pokémon Go is a challenging game, try hunting those silly digital monsters after a couple drinks.
Music discovery app Shazam said Tuesday that it would now help companies, marketers, and popular artists create augmented reality apps for their promotions. The company’s first partner on its new AR initiative is the spirits company Beam Suntory, which makes several popular liquors like Jim Beam whiskey and Sauza and Hornitos Tequila.
Augmented reality is a type of technology best exemplified by the hit summer mobile game Pokémon Go, in which players could use their smartphones to hunt digital creatures that are overlaid onto the real world with the help of their phones’ sensors and cameras.
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Although Microsoft (MSFT) currently sells its HoloLens AR headset, which does not require a smartphone, the device is still years away from being available to consumers at a cheaper price than its current $3,000 price tag.
Until AR technology improves to the point that companies like Microsoft (MSFT) can sell headsets at lower prices, it’s likely people will experience AR apps through their smartphones. While not as impressive or breathtaking as seeing 3D visuals come to life with the help of a headset, the phenomena of Pokémon Go showed that even on a mobile phone, AR tech has the ability to capture people’s attention and keep them glued to their screens.
Shazam said that its new so-called AR platform will let companies more easily build interactive AR apps that will be promoted to Shazam’s “massive install base,” said Shazam chief revenue officer Greg Glenday in a statement.
“The possibilities for a brand to bring their products to life or make their advertising more engaging are quite literally only limited by the imagination,” said Glenday.
Shazam and Beam Suntory did not reveal the specifics of their new AR app, only to say that it would be some sort of game in which players earn points that they can use to buy Beam Suntory-branded tequila up until the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
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A video demonstration of Shazam’s AR tech, which AR startup Zappar helped build, shows that when users hover their phones over a Shazam logo, the logo triggers their phones to display digital graphics on top of the design.
“With more than 150 years of experience producing premium tequila, we have constantly innovated throughout the years to reach consumers in new and exciting ways,” said Beam Suntory’s senior director of commercial marketing Michelle Cater in a statement.