AR experiences can be exciting, but designing them is often thankless work. As consumers, and as tech journalists, we tend to focus on the companies releasing AR content – but seldom designing the content themselves.
Image Metrics is a company that works behind the scenes of some of the biggest mobile-based AR experiences. They specialize in facial augmentation software. That’s the software that lets you try on glasses or makeup, or support your favorite sports team through your smartphone.
Image Metrics and LUNAR
“We’ve done a lot of work in virtual try-on for eyewear and makeup… social media applications,” Image Metrics CEO Ron Ryder said in an interview with ARPost. “All of which are using the same undercore tech.“
Image Metrics has recently packaged that tech into a platform called LUNAR. The application allows brand executives to create AR experiences without needing to know the backend – or pay dearly for a designer. Further, LUNAR can be implemented in just a few hours with little to no XR experience.
“Essentially, what we’re trying to do is democratize (AR) experiences,” said Ryder. “The objective of LUNAR is to unlock the creativity that AR can really deliver.“
There are a couple of reasons to be excited about LUNAR, as a professional or as a consumer. Let’s walk through the big ones.
Rich AR Experiences
AR makes ads more dynamic. That’s in terms of how the ad looks and in terms of what it can say.
“Your more traditional forms of advertising[…] don’t allow you the kind of interaction that AR allows,” said Image Metrics VP Product Nick Ramsey. “The focus can be on a product but once you go into the AR, you can really expand that narrative.”
The added narrative power that AR experiences give advertisers gives them more power to reach more people in more meaningful ways. It also gives consumers the ability to get to better know their favorite brands.
“I think that there is a lot of different ways that you can use augmented reality,” said Ryder. “The creative end of that is what we’re trying to unlock.“
More Dynamic AR Experiences
While AR can add a lot of depth to an experience, even that depth is limited, according to Ryder.
“One of the big limiting factors for innovation that we’ve seen in AR is that most of the applications limit you to doing facial or image tracking or planar,” said Ryder.
LUNAR allows all of these, potentially leading to future richer AR experiences than ever before.
AR experiences are kind of like weather events. You don’t need to know where they come from to experience them. But, when you understand where they come from you can appreciate them more and even begin to predict them.
It’s groups like Image Metrics that help us to understand how AR materializes and what it may look like in the future.