Advertisements are everywhere. On physical billboards, on trains, on buildings, on social media, on applications ... the list goes on. So we thought: why not put advertisements in AR too?
With the rise of AR technology, it is plausible that we will live in an AR world in the near future. This presents us with the opportunity to turn advertising digital; by removing the advertising clutter on infrastructure like billboards, trains and buildings, we can have cleaner, more aesthetic landscapes, and make better use of our space!
At the same time, with everyone having their own AR devices, be it their mobile phones or more fancy technology like the Google Glass, they can receive targeted advertisements specially tailored for each individual! Less boring products, more interesting products!
What it does
Our app makes use of AR technology (more specifically ARKit) to detect flat surfaces, and then creates a window displaying targeted advertisements in AR on these surfaces. This can be ported to many AR applications, be it mobile phone games like Ingress and Pokémon Go, more advanced AR technology like smart glasses, or even in MR technology. This allows businesses to increase their market reach, app developers to better monetise their products, and users to receive better advertisements, all while making our cities more clean and aesthetic.
Moreover, businesses end up cutting expenditure on renting physical ad spaces. They can also edit the ad on the go even after it has been put up. Since the ad is not physically restricted to a location, putting up an ad on AR space has wider spread than conventional bill board placements.
How we built it
Our original idea to detect big flat surfaces such as billboards and whiteboards from afar, but we discovered that ARKit requires textured surfaces to detect planes. As such, we were unable to detect such planes. We therefore had to change our plans and instead consider developing the idea for nearer and more textured surfaces.
Following which, we coded for the video advertisements to appear and play on detected planes. We decided to detect only vertical planes since these are the ones that would be more visible for the user, as opposed to horizontal planes which tend to be on the floor (and everywhere).
We also made sure to remove the video when attention is shifted to a new surface to prevent clutter. Furthermore, surfaces detected that are too small are rejected because the viewing experience is not optimal.
What's next for ARvertising
Incorporation of targeted advertisements
Code optimisation so that more appropriate surfaces are chosen to display advertisements
Location awareness for location specific ads
Incorporation into AR and MR applications/technology