The Future of Self-expression with AR
Hi, this is Toshiaki from Graffity. We are developing an AR shooting game called “AR Battle”. In this post, I’d like to write about the future of self-expression with AR.
Relation between communication and media
When you want to tell people something, you must mediate through the media. Even now, I use a media called “Medium” to convey information to you via text. The following is a summary of the main methods and mediums to communicate.
Each media has its own strengths: Twitter for text, Instagram for images, and YouTube …… for video. When the media changes, so does the form of communication. When new media is born, new communities are also formed.
So how would communication change as AR becomes more widespread?
AR would change face-to-face communication.
Let me talk about an example of our products, an AR video chat app called “GRAFFITY”. We released it in April 2018 for US users. It can create graffiti with AR and share the drawing with others.
After reflecting on the first product, we’ve decided to create an app to enrich people’s conversations. We set our eyes on the act of calling. Then we realized that video chat and AR technology work well together, and we’ve started thinking if we could enrich the conversation by developing an AR video chat application. It’s an app that allows people to draw graffiti in each space while video chatting.
We also planned to provide a function to create content other than sharing doodles, so we released a feature that allowed users to cut out the scenery in front of them and share it.
However, customers didn’t continue to use our app. The reason was due to a lack of context.
Context is the “prerequisite information” that people have when communicating. Video chatting is based on the assumption that people are in different places.Until now, we’ve been sharing context by standing in the same place and looking at the same objects. Our app didn’t share the context, so people weren’t having active conversations.
We concluded that what the medium of the AR need is context, and if people can share the context, communication via AR will be dramatically effective.
How would communication change?
Based on the insights and experiences, we’ve considered how AR can change communication.
Insight 1 : People want to understand others
When you communicate, you want to know what they are feeling, thinking and what kind of person they are. When we are in person, we could tell that from words, gestures and facial expressions.
I believe that AR technology can help us understand what others are thinking. For example, by exaggerating facial expressions and movements through AR, you can perceive the person’s emotions. Also, displaying their hobbies and SNS posts can be a great conversation starter.
Insight 2 : People want to tell others exactly what they think
Everyone wants to tell their thoughts and ideas accurately. , So when you talk to someone, you use not only your words but also your facial expressions and body language in an effective manner.
AR face filters allow you to express our emotions more than ever before.
The reactions in “Animal Crossing” are a very similar example.
In addition, the AR-based translation function enables real-time communication across multiple languages, making it easier to create intimate relationships without misunderstandings.
Insight 3 : People want to express themselves in a unique way
Your hair, clothes, make-up, and other personal appearance that you care about every day is one of the ways you can express your personality. And AR may become one of the tools for personal expression in the future. I think we will always wear face filters, virtual clothes and accessories to be ourselves.
For example, the world of Spectacles by Snap Inc. enriches your life with AR.
Insight 4 : People want to enjoy the present moment
We think that AR allows us to enjoy all aspects of everyday life even more.
For example, this AR feature allows you to make the cooking feel like a game.Pokémon Go introduces a game element into your daily walk.With the recent impact of the COVID-19, I think we need to diversify the way we enjoy our daily lives, and I believe that AR technology could bring new value to our existing lives.
In this post, I’ve provided a summary of how AR technology would change communication.
As a side note, Apple CEO Tim Cook also stated that “AR is a technology that permeates our lives and brings people together,” which is the same perspective with us.
Tim Cook: 'AR will pervade our entire lives'
When asked about the next big thing in tech, Tim Cook shared his excitement about augmented reality with a shout-out…
At Graffity, we will continue to test our hypothesis about AR x communication and create new values.
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