A whirlwind trip to deliver the keynote at the AR Conference in Moscow.

Max Dawes, Partnerships Director, Zappar

The end of last week was pretty eventful… Caspar (Zappar CEO) and I attended the Mobile Entertainment Awards at London’s Royal Garden Hotel on Thursday evening. As with most awards dos it wasn’t an early night.

Skip (briefly) ahead to 04.30 on Friday morning and I was hopping into a cab to head off to Gatwick airport and then on to Moscow.

Smile Expo had kindly asked me to come and speak at the first ever augmented reality industry event in Russia (or, for those that speak Russian: Первая инновационная конференция по технологиям дополненной реальности «AR Conference»).

It took place in Moscow’s equivalent of Shoreditch in London; a very cool collection of offices, restaurants and shops called “ArtPlay”.

As my flight had been delay I arrived at the venue slightly late to see my presentation already on screen, so straight on stage I went. Unfortunately they hadn’t received my request for dry ice and spotlights for extra “rock and roll” points ☺

The presentation was on “taking AR out of the labs and into the mass-market”. I spoke through how in its first phase, augmented reality was a highly advanced (and highly expensive) technology used only by the military or aerospace industry. How in its second phase, in more recent years, it became used by global brands looking for a way to bring their products to life and engage their customers. I explained how this caused AR to be dismissed as a gimmick and that in the view of many people, it was a solution in search of a problem; it was helpful in delivering a bit of marketing differentiation, but not offering huge value to the consumer.

I went on to explain how, as a number of factors coincide, augmented reality stands ready to enter its third phase: coming within the reach of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who make up the vast majority of businesses around the world. Naturally this included a veiled plug for the Zapcode Creator

I also presented our 4 C’s rule for a successful use of AR (Context – Call to action – Content – Connectivity).

The audience were fantastic and definitely appreciated that my presentation was informative rather than a sales pitch.

20 minutes of questions were followed by my first ever “signatures and selfies” session. To say people were enthusiastic would be an understatement!

Russia is perfectly set-up for mass adoption of AR – they have 50% smartphone penetration which is set to increase to 69% by 2017, they are in the top 10 rankings for 4G subscriptions and they love to scan (QR codes are everywhere, literally everywhere!)

There are already some really innovation AR providers operating in the market, led by the team at PlayDisplay who are doing fantastic work.

Спасибо всем. Мы вернемся!