Elements 4D – Introducing Augmented Reality to the Masses?
Many companies have tried to bring augmented reality into the mainstream through different applications and games; however none of them have fully succeeded. That’s what DAQRI is hoping to do with Elements 4D – their latest project that is looking for funding and inspiration on Kickstarter.
DAQRI is the company behind over 1,000 AR projects for companies such as Lego, Sony or 20th Century Fox, and despite lacking some awareness in the consumer sector it has already developed several applications for the education, medical and industrial sectors. Nevertheless, this is one of their first consumer-focused products built from the ground-up.
How does Elements 4D work?
The Elements 4D application will use some 3D markers in the form of laser-crafted wooden blocks that will each depict a different chemical element which, when touched together, will trigger a chemical reaction and new molecules will be formed. Don’t worry; this only happens in the digital space through a camera and the app that accompanies these blocks. Animation and video make these interactions even more appealing but are these enough to create the first “killer app for augmented reality”?
What is Elements 4D all about?
Although the chemistry classes may benefit from a modernisation of their teaching techniques that have been using pictures, drawings and styrofoam orbs for years, this may not necessarily be what DAQRI is really after. They don’t even need the $50,000 that they have pledged to raise from Kickstarter in 30 days, especially when they have just announced a $15M investment from a private equity fund. What they do hope to get, beyond the publicity that comes with their announcement, is a healthy amount of feedback and genuine interest from their Kickstart backers. This can be then leveraged to transform this app into a platform that can be used as the starting point for an endless number of consumer-based augmented reality applications.
DAQRI is doing something similar to what Google has been doing for a while now with their augmented reality Glass project – using brand advocates to develop, educate and further promote the benefits of their product before it is released to the masses. A product launch that is being backed by a large number of people has a much bigger chance of succeeding, because of the vibe that is being generated, but also because each individual then feels that a part of them is in that product, through the feedback they have offered during the pre-launch phase.