The first time Neal Applefeld read about augmented reality, he was captivated. The idea that digital content could be triggered in the live world fascinated him. At the time, the technology was just making the leap from desktop to mobile.
After creating a toy with an integrated digital experience and licensing it out, feedback from the retail community indicated that the technology could enhance the entire shopping experience, which led to the launch of SeeMore Interactive.
Seemore integrates augmented reality, image recognition, recommendation engine and location-based technologies to produce a unique shopping experience.
“People are tethered to their smartphones, and the technology on their device −the camera, internet connectivity, apps− can enable shoppers to see more of their everyday experiences,” says Applefeld. “SeeMore technology lets you simply look at various images, like a catalog page, with your phone and instantly that page becomes interactive and shoppable. So now you can explore your favorite catalog and enable product videos, see collections and personalized recommendations, capture an offer and make a purchase via your mobile device.”
To learn more about SeeMore, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: How long did it take to develop SeeMore?
Neal Applefeld: We have been in development for about one year. Some of our core capabilities are ready and have been deployed in client apps. But we have several features that are still in the pipeline.
[M]: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced while developing SeeMore and how did you overcome it?
NA: The initial challenge was finding experienced programmers. Augmented reality is still an emerging technology. We were fortunate to find enthusiastic developers willing to learn and invent on the job.
[M]: When will SeeMore be available to the general public?
NA: Some of our clients’ apps are powered by SeeMore. Shoppers buying Trends International posters or certain Miramax Blu-ray collections will have an augmented reality experience. Our core shopping tools will be available later in 2013.
[M]: Has it already been open to beta testers?
NA: So far our testing has been held pretty closely. We will have a limited beta version coming out shortly, and are working to put the testing team together now.
[M]: Who do you expect to use SeeMore? Do you have a target demographic?
NA: SeeMore is developed to enhance the shopping experience. We have found that interest ranges from fashion to automotive, but we think our core is the 25 to 54-year-old audience. People comfortable with technology, active with their social network, and avid shoppers.
[M]: How much outside funding have you secured for SeeMore to date?
NA: We raised $800,000 from TechColumbus and a few angel investors both here in Columbus and in New York. The funding has been primarily used for our software development.
[M]: Is there anything else you think we should know?
NA: Brand relevance now transcends digital, direct, and brick and mortar. The more businesses can engage customers across this channel convergence and in these virtual communities, the more they can influence purchase decisions.
To learn more aout SeeMore Interactive, visit SeeMoreInteractive.com.