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App turns chocolate bars into games

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 02:19

Aug. 18 - Confectionary giant Cadbury has become the launch partner of Blippar, a smart phone application which detects the shape of chocolate bars and other objects and converts them into virtual experiences. Andrew Potter reports.

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In a crowded market for smartphone apps, it takes something truly special to stand out. The London tech start up Blippar says its new app of the same name will fundementally change the way we see and interact with consumer products. SOUNDBITE: AMBARISH MITRA, BLIPPAR CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SAYING (English): "Blippar is an image recognition platform for mobile devices, targeted to brand-to-consumer interaction." Meaning the app can be programmed to recognise products, like this Cadbury chocolate bar. Seeing it triggers a virtual experience. SOUNDBITE: AMBARISH MITRA, BLIPPAR CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SAYING (English): "You can literally pick up any bar and scan it and instantly you'll see a game appearing." Objects can be tracked by the app even if they're moving. SOUNDBITE: AMBARISH MITRA, BLIPPAR CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SAYING (English): "So I'm moving the bar with my hands and you can see at various angles the whole game moves." Many companies have been pushing Quick Response, or QR codes which are recognised by smartphones. Co-founder Ambarish Mitra says Blippar is a technological leap beyond QR codes for brands and their customers. SOUNDBITE: AMBARISH MITRA, BLIPPAR CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SAYING (English): "It's significantly different to a QR code. QR code is nothing but a glorified barcode reader. Blippar is way different. What Blippar does is: A brand doesn't have to change any of its image assets, the brands real assets are its image and its logo. So you can interact with any image, the whole packaging itself without having to put a small code and you can get a lot of experiences, you can get a full 360 degree experience of the product, you can play a game with it, you can download things off it." As one of the world's largest confectionary companies, the association with Cadbury is particularly sweet for Blippar. Sonia Carter is UK head of digital with Cadbury owner Kraft Foods Europe. SOUNDBITE: SONIA CARTER, CADBURY HEAD OF DIGITAL, SAYING (English): "I think because it is so instintanous and so easy for the user and a real passionate advocate of anything that it very low barrier to entry. So all people have to do is download the app and once they've got that really just holding their device over our packaging. Nothing easier." Blippar says it eventually hopes to have thousands of such partnerships, giving consumers a new way to interact with their favourite brands...and brands a new way to reach out to potential customers. Andrew Potter, Reuters

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App turns chocolate bars into games

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 02:19