Ah Las Vegas, that steamy city in the desert.

Ah Las Vegas, that steamy city in the desert.

Hot on the heels of Prince Harry’s whirlwind visit came the Magic tradeshow; the big inaugural apparel fairs for brands, vendors and retailers for those of you unfamiliar with the dark under-belly of fashion world.

Zappar was out there meeting our partners and taking a look at all of the new characters, styles and properties that are coming to a retailer near you soon. And naturally we were there to launch and talk about our new Zaphat product (which hopefully you’ve seen by now and if not check it out here).

Three days in Vegas can make you go a bit crazy if truth be told and the long, busy evenings spent discussing our technology did spark an interesting notion about the role of augmented reality when viewed in relation to physical goods.

When you consider the stuff that we buy; we either get it for utilitarian reasons (i.e. will make task A easier, keep me warm, fill my stomach) or for emotional ones (I love the look of this thing/ it says something about me/ tastes good to me) or indeed a combination of the two. Once we’ve handed over our hard-earned cash to purchase these goods that thing that we now own begins a different kind of life; it stops being a unit on a production line and becomes part of your life – it develops a new set of meanings based on what you want to do with it (whether you keep it or perhaps gift it to someone else).

And so, if through personal use or if given as a gift to somebody else, this physical object suddenly creates it own set of memories. Well, what if the role of AR was to give that object its own memory? It’s own hidden vault of experiences that I can unlock, add to and share. Something that after pointing my phone at this object connects me to the deeper story hidden within that product, brand or license. If thought about in this way, AR becomes the portal through which I can make an intangible object come to life – so I can discover new things about it and share new experiences with it with others.

AR-enabled products by their very nature can be given a voice; their own narrative. They are no longer inanimate but active and alive through the magic of Zappar. Be it a Tee-shirt, a hat, a puzzle or lunch box, suddenly we open up another world by simply opening up Zappar and pointing it at the world around you – maybe AR is the 4th dimension?!.

When you’ve spent every waking hour discussing on a shop floor, the concept of Augmented Reality and how it can impact people’s lives it’s easy to got lost in Science Fiction. But the reality for AR products is that the future is rapidly catching up with us. We wish we could show you all of the amazing things that we’re working on here in the Zappar Labs, but we’d be in danger of blowing your minds!


Caspar Thykier

Managing Director, Zappar.