Category Archives: Other

Watch This Space: Marketing with Augmented Reality

Blog Image-AR-VR

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Apple CEO Tim Cook proclaimed his love for augmented reality over virtual reality earlier this week, saying it “allows users to be present.” Which led this author to wonder, “what the heck is augmented reality, and how is it different from virtual reality?”

You’re probably already familiar with virtual reality, strapping on a headset and interacting with a different world has been the dream of futurists for years.

On the other hand, augmented reality is achieved by combining the “real world” with additional content. Think of heads up displays now common in many new car models, or apps that let you virtually paint different rooms of your house. Every way you look, companies are finding new areas to complement your everyday life. You’re not “going” anywhere. You’re right there, just with more going on.

Investors Are Ready and Willing

According to Digi-Capital, the AR/VR industry could reach as much as $150bn by 2020. With over $120bn solely in AR, the platform is estimated to dominate VR ($30bn). Currently there are over 1000 startups devoted to augmented reality on Angelist, and 450 devoted solely to VR.

Taking notice are the behemoths of Silicon Valley. Long before the summer of AR game Pokemon Go, companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Apple were already funding their own AR and VR projects.

At Apple, new investments in the AR platform give indications that the company is banking on the platform. As sales flag on every consecutive iPhone model, the company has serious motivation to take on new lines of business, both in hardware and software.

Infinite Possibilities

It’s hard to argue with the awe-inspiring possibilities, especially after taking a cruise around the website of leading VR startup Magic Leap. Integrating constructed content (audio and visual) into the viewer’s reality gives rise to an entire new scape for advertising and messaging.

While the marketer in me thinks immediately of e-commerce opportunities, the kid in me is awe struck by the reel of a humpback whale breaching through a gymnasium floor. The inept adult in me also excited about having information like nutritional facts, travel directions, or even the weather integrated into my everyday life.

What’s in it for Marketers?

The Virtual Reality Society has identified a number of potential opportunities for augmented reality marketing campaigns. “A young person such as a 19 year old male would be shown images of the latest gadgets or an item of sportswear as they walk through a shopping centre…[or] a display board which advertises holidays as you wait at a bus stop or a series of adverts for mobile phones as you look in a shop window.”

Whether it’s personalizing marketing content within wearable tech, or inserting moments of delight into customer experiences, augmented reality can bridge the gap between your real life offering and created content.

Imagine shooting fireworks around a customer after a conversion moment, or advertising a waterproof jacket next to a rainy window. The possibilities are as limitless as our imaginations, which is ripe fruit for marketers.

Watch this space!

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

(Blog title: Shakespeare reference, Olsen Twins movie, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban score track #5? You decide.)

AddThis has offices in Washington, DC and New York City, both of which were hit by now infamous Hurricane Sandy this week. While NYC is still in the dark (and we’re thinking about them every day!) that didn’t stop some A-Teamers here at AddThis HQ from getting in the Halloween spirit yesterday, as well as some members in our LA office and other remote locales.

Our 2nd Annual Halloween costume contest saw a variety of crazy characters. Three of the “best dressed” won prizes in the following categories:

  • Funniest
  • Scariest
  • Most Creative

AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Jeannie in LA won Funniest with her hilarious Stewie outfit:

Will in LA won Scariest with his impersonation of Tony Montana from Scarface:

And Leiser from AT:HQ won Most Creative with her interpretation of a “data dump”:

Congratulations to you all!

And in the name of honorable mentions, here are some more photos of the wacky Wednesday wear:

Tiffany as Janet Jackson in the Control era, Kori as Penny Lane from Almost Famous, Collin as an AddThis “adult publisher” and there’s that data dump lady again!

Stephen as Magnum PI!

Paul as Superman and his superdog!

Joe, from our NYC office, is Frankenstorm/NYC reporter. Sandy can’t mess with our sense of humor!

Tracy was a cowgirl and her horse.

Natalija as a “Roman” Goddess … every other day she’s just a regular goddess. :)

Does this look like fun?! If so, check out our open positions! If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry, it’s not mandatory to dress up on Halloween. :)

October Hackathon 2012: Robotics for the Remote Worker and Plenty of Plants

Another successful AddThis Hackathon is in the books! We measure the success of a Hackathon in a few different ways:

For those not familiar with hackathons, they are our 24-hour sprints of innovation. A-Teamers group up, or work alone, on a new project outside of what they are currently working on in their day-to-day. The energy surrounding a hackathon is always fun and familial. They are a very important part of the AddThis culture.

WINNER: Telepresence Roomba Robot

The winning project of this installment of all-night coding was quite impressive. The team went out to solve a common challenge we face at AddThis. Since we have multiple offices across the country, sometimes communicating and collaborating requires extra effort. So, the team created a telepresence robot using a Roomba, a MacBook Air, foamcore and a rocket launcher. And the entire thing was controlled from a Google Hangout! See it in action:

Congratulations to the winning team! It was well deserved.

Honorable Mention: AddThis Garden

The unofficial “runners-up” also deserve Earth Day Award 2012. “AddThis Plant” went on a mission to “green” our new HQ office in Virginia. It is an extensive project of plant growing, caring and loving with the end goal to have a nice array of beautiful oxygen-producing decorations for our work space. Check them out:

And those are just the official winners! There were many other brilliant and noteworthy projects that did not go unnoticed or under-appreciated. Some of which will be used to make everyday AddThis processes more efficient — a win all by itself!

Like this? Check out more posts about AddThis Engineering.

 

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Clearspring!

(Originally posted on the Clearspring blog.)

It’s been a very busy week here at Clearspring with the announcement of XGraph joining the family. So busy, we didn’t get a chance to blog about our very first Halloween Costume Contest!

To give a quick rundown from some of our offices — Winnie the Pooh was spotted writing code and the iCloud was shedding “water droplets” all over the floors at HQ in McLean, VA. NYC was was raided by a zombie and a Richard Simmons exercise video extra showed up. LA even saw dead people.

Here are some pictures, including the winners of the three categories – Funniest, Scariest and Most Creative.

 

HQ’s Elizabeth Leiser won Most Creative with her rendition of the iCloud.

HQ’s Collin Hughes won Funniest for dressing up as fellow Clearspringer Ted Pearson. Here’s a reference:

LA’s Will Watson won Scariest for his interpretation of Dia de Los Muertos.

Some honorable mentions:

Rebecca Salerno of our NYC office dressed as a hostess turned zombie. She has rats in her hair!

NYC’s David S. just got back from filming his latest exercise video with Richard Simmons.

Charlie the Pooh.

25 Hours of Racing

Last weekend the Clearspring Motor Club racing team, Cobra Kai, raced their Swedish Race Truck at Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio as part of the ChumpCar Longer Longest Day.  After 25 hours, 25 minutes, and 25 seconds of racing—stopping only to change drivers and refuel the car every 2 hours—the checker flag dropped with our car in 13th place overall, a great result from a field of 74 cars that started the race.

ChumpCar is a racing series similar to the 24 Hours of LeMons.  The premise is simple: buy a car for less than $500 and run it on a racetrack for hours on end.  The car that accumulates the most laps over the race is declared the winner.  This sort of “crap can” racing isn’t just orbiting a circle track, nor is it a demolition derby.  The tracks are complex and difficult to master.  The danger is real, too—we wear helmets, head-to-toe fire gear, all of the cars have full roll cages, and the safety rules are extensive.

In endurance racing the biggest factor is reliability.  As long as you can keep out on the track without problems you have the basis for a good race.  Performance can only take you so far and since the $500 price of the car includes any performance modifications, options there are limited.  Our team has made great use of cutting things off of the car to improve performance.  Before our first race we cut the springs and filled them with tennis balls to make the suspension stiffer.   At our second race, the ChumpCar 24 Hours at VIR, we turned the race wagon into a truck by chopping the roof off while waiting in line to get into the racetrack.  Our car’s performance from this weight-saving modification were enough to encourage another team at our most recent race to do the same with their Volvo.

Overall we had a great race without any problems that kept us off the track.  Ending up in 13th place—ahead of dozens of cars that were turning faster laps when they were on track—is an wonderful achievement.  For complete details on our race, check out this post on the CS Motor Club blog.  Next time, we’re shooting for the top ten!

Think this is awesome?  Check out the jobs page, we’re always looking for new drivers folks at Clearspring.

My first week as a Springer!

Last week was my first week here at Clearspring and already I feel like a part of the family.  Maybe it’s the daily catered lunches or the Wii Tennis Tournament we had on Friday (Jeff and I clinched 2nd place!) or perhaps it’s because my desk is right next to the snack table (don’t worry, I don’t judge!) — but whatever the reason, everyone’s made a genuine effort to introduce themselves and make me feel at home.

As with most new jobs, the first week consists of trying to learn new names with faces to match, who does what, where you need to be when, and the ins and outs of how to get this or that done.  Lucky for me, my coworkers made that (typically overwhelming) experience an absolute joy  — I don’t know that I’ve ever walked into a new job and felt so welcomed!

What I love is there’s a clear “work-hard, play-hard” aura in the office and it’s evident how much Clearspring employees enjoy their jobs.  Knowing that I’ll be working with people who exude such positive energy combined with seasoned skills, talents, knowledge, experience and passion is both refreshing and motivating.

I’m extremely happy with this opportunity to work with such an excellent team, and I look forward to learning from them and sharing that knowledge with you!

Cheers,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth@clearspring.com

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