Hasan Tariq, Founder & CEOIt is said that the science fiction of yesterday is the science of tomorrow. Ever since ‘The Terminator’ and more recently, Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’, it is evident that our understanding of Augmented Reality (AR) has progressed leaps and bounds. Nevertheless, early innovators were treated with a high level of skepticism, and few managed to hold on to their enthusiasm in helping visionaries realize their imaginative ideas. IQVIS was among those that braved the torrent of doubt. “When we set out with AR in 2009-10, the overall understanding of what is AR and what it can do for you was very primitive,” says Hasan Tariq, Founder, and CEO of IQVIS. Hasan reckons that they had to bring in a big educational element and communicate to different customers about exploring brand interactions with AR. Today, after much progress in the understanding of AR, IQVIS delivers exquisite AR based brand engagement experiences to users, primarily on smartphones. “Our perspective has been driven towards mass adoption, and the only way for that is through devices that the masses already have: their smartphones,” substantiates Hasan.
According to Hasan, IQVIS’s unique value proposition is in helping their customers answer three important questions with regard to AR—what technology to use, when to use it, and how to use it. With experience in trying and testing topical technology, IQVIS helps its customers find the best suited AR solution that can focus on their business use case to achieve the expected results, in a manner that does not overwhelm their exploratory budgets. “Once we hone a particular solution, our objective is to implement that in a way that always underlines overall user experience,” elaborates Hasan, “We need to understand what we want the end users to feel when they undergo the AR experience.”
IQVIS’ anchoring emphasis on understanding the end user’s psyche proved elementary as they forayed into the events and trade shows arena.
Once we hone a particular solution, our objective is to implement that in a way that always underlines overall user experience
Their customers, the advertisers at a conference, kept stacks of roughly 5000 brochures for attendees and didn’t have an idea as to what the results of the distribution were. IQVIS developed an AR experience platform to engross attendees when they used the official event mobile applications to scan the brochures, which acted as the markers. The idea was simple and cost-effective in that the brochures did not have to be changed in any way; the platform was linked to the application leveraging AR to put the content forth in a rich video experience, hence bringing the brochure to life. More importantly, explains Hasan, IQVIS was able to deliver useful insights to their customers in terms of what the attendees did with their brochures. “Now there were suddenly numbers and analytics on the usage of those brochures,” he reminisces, “The exciting part for us was the hype it created in the people’s minds when they shared the brochure experience with their co-workers, friends, and family members.”
IQVIS is planning to enhance their solution with gamification, building on top of existing AR toolkits. On the one hand, it can help marketers develop an incentive program and on the other, help their existing customers in the events and conferences space to route attendee traffic, much like the sensational Pokemon Go. IQVIS believes that the future is bright for AR, with bigger technology players putting their weight behind its development. “In the early debate of AR vs. VR, we picked AR. We are glad that our choices have worked out and the industry is headed in that direction,” summarizes Hasan.