Don't Look Down

Thoughts On Tech

AR projects worth exploring #1

AR is coming to mainstream - fact. Read the facts, look at the numbers and plot the next 18 months. 

It’s going to be interesting and exciting, but we’re also inevitably going to see a lot of wrong calls, missed marks and badly deployed budgets as the rules are learned and the users - you, me and them out there - teach us how to make AR things that people actually want and need.  

In the meantime, I spend a lot of time reviewing AR products in the market, watching branded, ukulele accompanied case studies on youtube,  and thinking about how and where AR might improve my life.

Here's one for fellow golfers out there as a starter one. As well as sharing the idea, this is also an exercise of onboarding some basic concept assessment approaches that should be useful if you're exploring your own foray into AR. A few caveats:

  1. It’s highly likely that people far cleverer than me are already doing, or have already shipped some of these. If so, please tell me so I can test.
  2. Massive technical and feasibility liberties were taken (wide open for being taught here)
  3. All ideas are mobile AR related. Larger format AR (Hololens etc.) I believe is still 24 months away from having a consumer install base worthy of taking a serious position.

Idea: Position A

Golf sucks.

It doesn’t. It’s great. But if like me you’re destined to remain a weekend hacker with dreams of a single digit handicap, you could use all the help you can get. Position A is a simple idea, that uses AR to answer the million $ question: “what’s the perfect shot from this tee?“

golf ar christian burne

In it’s BPV (Best Possible Version), a pro golfer (could be famous), would appear on the tee, narrate to camera on how you should set up and where you should aim (taking the local weather conditions into consideration), before showing you how it’s done, with a skysports-esque ball flight  trajectory, as evidence of his brilliance. This could be video, or could be CGI. The latter probably costing less over the long-term.

In it’s MVP (Minimal Viable Product), it’s a simple instruction overlay of the camera image, with the trajectory to demonstrate the ideal flight and direction, upon tapping the ‘swing’ button.  

Idea assessment

This is a short form version how I like to filter AR ideas to make sure I, or my clients, aren’t chasing a non-starter. 

  1. Is this exclusive to AR as a technology? Well, yes unless you want to pay a pro-golfer to join you on every hole. Sure, they have similar 2D versions on snazzy golf cart screens, or in your course book. But what is it they say about learning: "involve them, and they’ll understand”. And quite frankly, I’d much rather see the shot played in 3D, then glance at a dotted line. 
  2. Is it interactive or static? This is a static experience. There’s no interactivity with the content. Is that ok? In this instance, yes, It’s linear and education based, not a game.
  3. Is it relevant to the core user-experience? Unless you’re competing (2 stroke penalty), you’ll have your phone on the golf course. You will. We all do. So holding it up and pointing at the tee-box, isn’t asking too much (and I’ve got 25+ golfers that support that assumption) of you. Plus, the reward for doing so, would be definitely worth it.
  4. Where will the return come from? This is the commercial bit. If a brand builds and wraps it (Ping, as an example) over time they’ll almost certainly see a positive emotional return on that spend. Alternately, they could sell it as a platform to Clubs, or chunk up and engage the PGA etc..Layer in a social sharing device by hole, and then you’ve got earned media return as well.
  5. It is scalable?: how many golf clubs are there in the world? 

I'm an independent commercial and creative advisor for the New Reality industry. Founder of several AR and VR ventures, I work both short and long-term into agencies and direct-to-clients, to help them unlock the commercial potential of AR/VR; build internal planning competence, and oversee high-level project development.

Drop me a note here if you'd like to chat or share an idea, or call me on 07724521787.