I always enjoy reading business success stories. They have the energy, power and belief that all avenues are open to someone who believes in their business. Not only do they inspire, but they also help you to look at the world more broadly and to find opportunities where they are overlooked.
I want to share with you a success story of a woman who created a business using AR opportunities. And by the way, our no-code service MyWebAR couldn’t help either.
Meet Pam Earle. Just under a year ago she launched a startup, 3DHappyAR, which produces unusual packaging and products that come to life in augmented reality. In that short time, demand for the products has soared. And the company’s technology solutions have already been showcased at the leading high-tech exhibition CES-2022.
Let’s talked to Pam about how startups with AR stand out from the competition, how ideas are born and how the WOW effect attracts new consumers. I hope that our conversation will be useful to you, bring new insights, and inspire you to explore AR.
Why businesses need AR
AB: Pam, thank you for this opportunity to talk about how AR helps your business take on new heights. Every time we hear about another success story from our clients or partners, it’s incredibly motivating. It is clear to me that augmented reality has the potential to boost business for a number of reasons. Relatively low investment at the start-up, unlimited technical possibilities in implementing projects, the WOW-effect of what you see, audience involvement, greater coverage, increased revenues, and much more. Why did you decide to build a business using AR?
PE: From a professional standpoint, I have 20+ years of experience working in the digital design world. My current job involves creating Augmented Reality experiences at Yahoo for advertisements.
“I see how ads work with brands and know that Augmented Reality is the next big thing. The number of Augmented Reality users is set to reach 1.73 billion users by 2024. The current value of the AR market stands at $3.5 billion and that it will increase to $198 billion by 2025.”
About the WOW effect
AB: You and I, as businesses, when creating a product today, have to think about the Experience Economy. When we created our first products seven years ago — they were AR children’s books — not many people were applying augmented reality to the classic printed bookAnd we were told openly that it would be almost impossible to succeed. However, we dared to do it.
And when we showed the first books to the children, we saw their shining eyes and heard how excited they were about the new immersive experience. And we realized that the WOW effect was a guarantee of successful business development. This has enabled us to scale our business to such an extent that today our books are sold in 64 countries and over 300 partners want to work with us, including major brands such as Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Cut the Rope etc.
Have you experienced the WOW effect in your business?
PE: The WOW effect is my favorite part. Because Augmented Reality is still new to consumers purchasing physical objects, they are always surprised when they scan in the image target. The timing is great right now because AR is still very new.
AB: How clients react to your AR products?
PE: 3DHappyAR is evolving to learn what type of clients and what target audience benefits most. The clients that we are selling our themed experiences react in a very positive way.
My favorite reaction is when something has an idea for another theme. They get very excited and I love seeing the wheels turning in their heads.
How AR can help businesses enter metaverses
AB: In my opinion, augmented reality is also a great tool for a smooth entry into future metaverses. What can businesses do now to try AR? Share your tips based on your experience?
PE: I’ll give you three important points:
- Have a good 3D modeling resource, or learn how to 3D model yourself.
- Have a theme or a reason for Augmented Reality. This gives users a reason to want to place AR in their space. Don’t do AR just for the “WOW” factor because it is going to be common soon. I create themes that match the contents inside of a gifting jar. It connects the contents inside the jar to the Augmented Reality experience.
- Think 3 steps ahead. Right now I’m designing the experiences that are seen through mobile devices, but soon they will be seen with wearables (glasses, etc). The more image targets that I create that are attached to graphics, the more I’ll be prepared once AR is more commonly and easily used and people are spending time daily in the metaverse.
How to find an idea for AR
AB: Speaking of ideas. Is it difficult for you to get your main idea through AR?
PE: My process of delivering a main idea through Augmented Reality is made easier with tools like MyWebAR. I photoshop my image targets, create matching 3D models. I can then turn them into an Augmented Reality product within hours.
AB: Yes, some of our clients joke that the hardest thing about working on our platform is coming up with an idea. And what criteria are important for you in your work, how do you find the right platform for your idea?
PE: For me, as a designer, I like working with a visual user interface. MyWebAR has a very clean and understandable interface. I am able to see a preview of the experience and edit the size and placement of my 3D Models. Find a platform that fits your needs for your specific product.
How to make a startup stand out with AR
AB: In creating MyWebAR, we wanted to democratize AR technology as much as possible. Now AR projects can be done simply, intuitively, without coding or design skills, right in the browser. Share your opinion on the user side: how easy is it for you to use the service?
PE: MyWebAR is very easy to use. The UI is intuitive and very clean. I love seeing the updates and watching it evolve. My new favorite is the Sketchfab integration. I love that there is no coding and that I can see my analytics. Overall, VERY easy to use.
I could recommend to MyWebAR only one thing to become even better and more effective. I would love another option to purchase 50 more experiences. It jumps from 50 to unlimited. Because I am a startup and funding this myself, I’m not able to afford the unlimited 3k per year (or even 2k with promotions) yet. I’m hoping to in the future if this takes off. It would be great for me to pay another $300 per year for another 50.
AB: Thank you for your opinion, we will definitely think about how we could optimize this point! Pam, you have managed to achieve great results in a very short time. Give some advice to newcomers! How to stand out with AR if you are in the startup business?
PE: You stand out as a startup by connecting with people and companies that also are passionate about AR. I do this mostly on LinkedIn. Standing out also includes thinking in BIG ways.
I applied to CES and was accepted in the XR Gaming section with a limited number of spots. Because of this, I was able to launch my product at the biggest consumer electronics show in the world. Go BIG!
Want to show your AR projects to the world? Send them to us on firstname.lastname@example.org! We are always happy to announce our creators’ projects on our accounts!