The renaissance of geolocation based AR

The renaissance of geolocation based AR

– or the race between AR and VR is on again –





Pokemon Go turned the app market upside down while changing our daily life and commute undoubtedly. Several articles discussed the game and its expeditious way to world domination. That said, for a mobile app developer who started and is still working with AR, there are a number of thought-provoking learnings beyond the success of the game.

Geolocation based content with added AR fun is nothing new today. It has been used before and, at the dawn of mobile AR solutions, was thought to run equal chances as marker based AR (an augmented reality content that appears on prints or products triggered by a marker symbol).

Some say Pokemon Go is not AR in its core and I’m inclined to agree. The argument goes that Pokemons are simply appearing around a certain spot having nothing to do with the surroundings. But let’s not be that rigorous. Unreal stuff appearing on and around real world objects and places sells the concept of AR fine – and this is the most the AR industry may ask for.

When we started out as developers for Junaio/Layar AR browsers, we reckoned that GPS based AR – digital content duly connected to real locations – will have a great use for businesses, retailers, tourists, etc. For some reason it has turned out otherwise.

Many industries use marker based AR in their daily customer operations, including car or furniture manufacturers along with real estate developers. Ikea, for one, has been using marker based AR in its annual catalogues for years now. GPS based AR, however, seemed to have somewhat missed the boat.

Historically, Ingress made the first impact as a full geolocation based AR game, but were only known to geeks and fanatics. Looking back, it was merely a pre-sequel for Pokemon GO, coming from John Hanke, the genius behind both. Ingress didn’t make it big but the key locations of PokeStops and Gyms come form its learnings and data. (For the record, Mr Hanke was the one to sell Keyhole to Google, later to become Google Earth.)

There were some other fine solutions, too. Vodafone in Germany ran a campaign called Buffer Buster which was basically a promotional game app, designed to collect flying robots in thousands of urban locations. Mini made its first GPS based hunt in Sweden as part of a launch campaign for a new model. Ray Ban came up with a money winning game in Italy. These were all nice AR applications, but only pale shadows compared to the Pokemon frenzy we’re facing today.

Location based AR seems to be back with a vengeance.  Once forgotten, yet now ready to challenge the popularity of VR. The race is on again: location based AR is in limelight once more attracting the attention of all stakeholders including game creators, companies and digital marketers. Soon they’ll rediscover the ways of connecting relevant digital contents to their brands and outlets as well as of moving their customer events and product launches into semi-virtual, augmented reality.

With Pokemon Go educating multitudes well on AR, the possibilities are literally endless for most industries. People in full command of AR solutions will readily visit stores not only for PokeGyms but also for offerings of brand applications.

Virtual and Augmented Realities are ready to clash over again – only to prevail unitedly this time.


Sab Budahazy

CEO – ARworks



Quick dive into why ‘Habit’ drives App usage

Original Post By: Andrew Lipsman

Earlier this week comScore released our 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report, which is full of interesting new findings on the importance of apps to the digital landscape and how consumers are engaging with them. Through our thorough investigation of how people use apps, one of the most common themes that cropped up was just how important the power of habit was in driving app usage.

We spend more time than ever before using our mobile devices, but particularly our smartphones. What’s become clear is that much of how we use our smartphones occurs on a very habitual, almost unconscious basis. Here are some of the highlight findings from this report illustrating just how ingrained our behaviors have become

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arworks apps

12 trends in Mobile App Development you need to know

Original article written by Katie Stanfield, working as a mobile app developer with Xperts Infosoft.

Whether it is about shopping, ordering your favourite food, saving money, hiring a cab or any other routine activity online, which devicedo you pick up at an instant to carry all such activities? Your Smartphone, right! Well, it is same with every one of us. Our cellular device has emerged as a real friend in need and is playing a crucial role in simplifying our daily tasks, changing your outlook towards information. It is not at all wrong to say that technology of mobile is growing at the speed of light and the apps have become an integral part of the digital ecosystem. In fact, these apps are progressing to make ubiquitous presence. However, staying up-to-date with the latest trends of mobile app development has become order rather than merely an option.

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hotel- family checking in

Why Beacons? Part 3. Driving up loyalty & CX in Hotels

The good news is certain players in the Hotel sector are ahead of the game when it comes to Beacons and Locational-Based Marketing. Marriott especially, is one brand that’s clearly invested in leveraging the technology to drive up their customer experience rating.

For such a fiercely competitive industry, constantly forced to find new and innovative ways to protect its business against eroding forces such as the falling cost of travel, accommodation alternatives like Air B&B, and the ever-increasing army of travel bargain websites, Beacons represent a significant opportunity to carve out a genuine point of difference. Especially if the Hotel operation has a loyalty programme and existing pool of guest preference information to leverage.

 So in no particular order, here are 5 very good reasons why Hotels should be considering investment in Beacon technology.

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Why Beacons? Part 2.

Sports and Event venues

We continue our look at which businesses should be embracing Beacons, with Sports and major event venues.

Coincidentally, we were approached very recently by a major football venue to prepare an introductory perspective on what value a Beacon Network could bring to their business. So this is nice and fresh in our minds.

The request triggered the fundamental question of ” what business are they really in?” The obvious and immediate answers are Entertainment and Hospitality. But one only has to dig a little bit deeper to see how important Media is to the on-going commercial health of sports venues. And within the context of what value Beacons can bring, this is a very interesting observation indeed.

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Why Beacons? Part 1. Museums & Galleries

 Museums & Art Galleries

As part of ARworks continued commitment to assisting brands and businesses deliver exceptional customer experience through strategic Mobile App solutions and creative technology, over the next few weeks we’re going to be sharing a series of posts that list some top-line reasons why Beacon technology (and Location Based Marketing) should become a regular addition to specific industries and venues.

For this first post we’re focussing on Museums and Art Galleries. Other than retail, arguably one the most verdant environments for the many benefits Beacons bring to the table.

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Cannes: ARworks wins a Bronze Lion

We’re happy to announce, that our Viaopta Daily app for Novartis just won a Bronze Medal at the Creative Festival in Cannes. The app helps the visually impaired in their daily lives by transforming visible information – either on the phone or from the surrounding world – to audible content.
Cannes Link with Video


The app, running in 12 languages, recognises and reads out banknotes, colors, have a speaking contact list, weather info and timer, and also an easy to use magnifier. The upcoming up-grade will add an object and a scene recognition function and additional languages

Video, photos of the app

ARworks other apps

For more info – or any new mobile app you need – please, contact:

Sab Budahazy



Fun walk with VR Glasses

Our short werkmovie shows, how our project managers look like, when they are mixing up actual with virtual reality on the streets or parks of our city by trying out our newest VR glasses – the Samsung Gear VR and the Zeiss One – in the real world. For sure its not just fun, since we’ve already developed a few real VR Glass/HMD apps: a 360 panovideo based solution for the Atlantis, the Palm hotel in Dubai and a fully immersive pharmaceutical animated 3D environment for Novartis.

Read about those, and the bluetooth controlled VR device, here
Atlantis, The Palm VR PanoVideo App
Novartis VR submarine and AR microscope
Bluetooth controller for VR

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European Excellence Awards – and the Winner is: ARworks!!!


eea_logo_2014_winnerWe’re proud to announce, that our company, ARworks, with its Viaopta Daily application for Novartis won the “Mobile Communication and Social App” category on the European Excellence Awards last week.

The Award is one of the most prestigious competition for the PR and Communication industry in Europe and the world’s biggest agencies are participating on it: Weber Shandwick, JWT, Edelman, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Burson Marsteller, Ketchum and many others.

We’ve managed to stand out among them with our ViaOpta App, which we’ve designed and developed for Novartis’ Ophthalmology Head Office in Basel. The app is helping blind and visually impaired people throughout their daily life – recognizing and reading out the color of objects and the denominations of banknotes, placed in front of the smartphone, an easy to use magnifier, a speaking weather-report service, a talking contact list and timer. All of these function can be used in 7 languages including, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

More on the App: LINK

We’d like to thank Novartis for giving us the opportunity to prove our creativity and developing skills.
European_Excellence_Awards_2014_Press release

Web Site of the Award

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 6.25.13 PM


We would be happy to work for you as well and prepare award – and user – winning apps for your brands.

Kind Regards,
Sab Budahazy,