If you’re a die-hard App Central fan, you may recall the segment where Amber and I reviewed a new app called The Open Label Project, that let users write and append reviews of directly to …
If you’re a die-hard App Central fan, you may recall the segment where Amber and I reviewed a new app called The Open Label Project, that let users write and append reviews of directly to products simply by scanning the item barcode and adding their review. These reviews and comments then become visible to anyone else who subsequently scans the product, provided they’re using the Open Label app. This overlaying of digital information onto the physical world is a cool trend that we’re seeing more and more of as technology tests the traditional dynamics between, marketers, consumers and the things we buy.
Now imagine this…
You’re looking for a hotel to stay in for the night. You pull up in front of a nice looking place but before checking in, you pull out your mobile device, open an app, view the hotel through your camera and suddenly, you can see hundreds of comments from past guests digitally scrawled all over the image of the hotel itself. The good, the bad and the ugly, there for God and everyone else to see. Needless to say, depending on the comments you see, you might decide to check in…or wisely check out!
This leads me to Dutch augmented reality app developer Layar. The folks at Layar have managed to take this notion of overlaying digital content onto the physical world to a whole new level with something they call Stiktu. Free for iPhone and Android, Stiktu allows users to scan just about any stationary object on earth and then attach digital content to it! No barcode required. This content can take the form of comments, cartoons, graffiti or pretty much anything the user likes – ANYTHING. There’s also a social component where, while browsing the images that other users have created, you can choose to follow people who you find particularly interesting or fun.
Now, I have to admit, when I first looked at Stiktu I considered it a bit of a time-waster – sort of an oddball combination of Pinterest, Twitter and DrawSomthing. I couldn’t see any serious application.
But then again, one of my favorite expressions is don’t look at the finger – look at where it’s pointing.
And clearly, what Stiktu and apps like it point to is something pretty momentous. A future where the label on a product, the sign above a hotel or even a billboard in Time Square on are no longer solely the property of marketers or their brands. All of these spaces become co-owned, shared vehicles for marketers with their consumers to express themselves and ultimately engage – whether brands like it or not. The product, the packaging and the review become one organic thing. Public whiteboards, if you will, where there are no secrets and nowhere to hide.
So far from being a silly bauble, Stiktu is the thin edge of the wedge in what I see as potential revolution in consumer information. That’s pretty cool.
Check out the full episode of App Central, including our chat about Stiktu!