Wednesday, 11 October 2017

skignz is speaking at the largest location-based brand marketing event

We are proud to announce that our CEO & Founder, Si Brown has been confirmed as one of the 'Awesome Speakers' at the Retail Loco Event, held in Atlanta.

This is the largest location-based brand marketing event hosted by the Location Based Marketing Association.

This two-day event gathers together some of the biggest players in the AR/VR field to share best practices, explore the 'location cookie' and discuss the future of location-based technology.

skignz has been asked to take part in a distinguished panel conversing around VR/AR in Retail. 

Other members of the panel are also among some of the key leading digital marketers, from global brands such as, Coca Cola, Costco, NECGoogle and so many more.


We hope to see you there!





Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Un-Augmented Reality:

Tales from the AR Trenches
by Si Brown, Founder & CEO, skignz


Long time readers of this blog – friends and family of skignz – know I’ve been pursuing the very real dream of making Augmented Reality easy, fun, and useful for the masses.

In the beginning, finding articles on the topic was as rare as finding Venusaur, Blastoise, or Charizard in Pokemon Go!. (Of course, back when we started, there was no Pokemon Go!) Try as I might to find something tangible, most of the articles were related to the promise and potential of the technology.

As time passed, it got a little easier because 'the space' was heating up. However, we still couldn't find much in our specific territory. (Don't get me wrong...that's not a bad thing!). The growing amount of information was about AR triggered by images (e.g. a QR or UPC code) or 'features' (e.g. logos or open spaces in a kitchen to place an augmented microwave). 

While location-based (what we use) is another known trigger, it’s surprisingly rare. In fact, we studied the 109 applications in Super Ventures AR Landscape and could only find a couple of possible examples.


Then came two thunderclaps: Pokemon Go! and Apple’s AR kit announcement

Boom. Boom.

Pokemon Go! was indeed the game changer that it gets the credit for. It taught us all lessons about the possibilities and established a credible example of how a niche technology could explode into the main stream. ARKit clearly will do all that and probably more.

Add Facebook’s pronouncements and you might think skignz would want to crawl into a virtual cave. 

How could a small angle-round startup possibly compete? This is how:

* We use 'geofencing' in a very different way than all other location-based experiences (AR or other)
* We don’t place content in the App (we’ve <5 MB on your phone vs +300mb for Pokemon Go!) Take a look for yourself www.skignz.com/download 
* We have real use cases under our belt and a growing sense of what works (and what doesn’t) for our particular flavour of AR see www.skignz.com



In addition, those same longtime readers know skignz has been identified by some of the largest brands in the world (Coca-Cola, IHG, Cox Enterprises, Porsche, to name just a few) and have selected us to be part of The Coca-Cola Bridge Community program. That prestigious recognition gives our partners the opportunity to bring location-based AR to the masses.

For this we offer our very real thanks to the teams at companies like Apple, Niantic and others for doing what we couldn’t do by ourselves: Make Augmented Reality a 'reality'.

Credit: Apple's WWDC 2017 KeyNote


If you want to find out more about skignz, then please visit our website (www.skignz.com) as well as the usual social media channels.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Goodwood Festival of Speed introduces skignz

29th - 2nd July saw skignz having an awesome time at The Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Festival of Speed (FOS) offers enthusiasts an unrivalled opportunity to get close to the action and to meet the great champions who gather at Goodwood each summer. 

It has been running since 1993 on the same stretch of the March family's driveway. 

While the location has remained the same and Lord March continues to lead the creative direction, the main aspect that has evolved is the scale of the event: with the enthusiasm and investment of the wider motoring and motorsport community, FOS has become an internationally celebrated, sell-out occasion.


                       

skignz was part of the Future Lab which was the most popular stand/exhibition over the 4 days with numbers of 4-8,000 people entering the Future Lab each day. There were queues constantly from each morning until the end of the day.

Among the other exhibitors were:
Robocar - world's first driverless racing car. This was the focal point of future lab with thousands taking pictures of this amazing racing car - we took a picture created a png and placed the racing car on the Goodwood track.






Boom Supersonic - Boom, based in Denver, Colorado, is designing, building and flight testing history’s first independently developed supersonic jet.



Siemens with Tech partners Bentley Systems - 4 days prior to FOS they created a 3d Virtual Map of the Hill climb at Goodwood. using drones and a vehicle.



P-Val
- Flying car concept which could be seen flying around Goodwood using our AR technology and APP.


Samsung VR - They had VR roller coaster seats the attendees got on and experienced the thrill of a Rollercoaster (their screams could be heard from outside)

Other exhibits included: Facebook 360, Ital Design Airbus, Trust UAV and also not forgetting the great Gran Turismo with their real driving experience (VR)

Being involved in this amazing event was very exciting, the atmosphere with its never-ending buzz.



We gave out our skignz QR code to guests around the festival to encourage them to download skignz. People could be seen scanning the QR and downloading then viewing the content around the Festival.

So how did we do it? How was skignz beneficial to those attending this awesome festival?

As always, our aim is to improve the experience of any event people attend and with Goodwood Festival of Speed it was no different ... 

We set-up the following Channels to help the guests/attendees:

* Facilities/Essential Info - toilets / water points / card machines / First aid points / disabled toilets / car parks
* Brands - Location of all the main car brands such as BMW / MINI / Maserati / Land Rover / Jaguar / Porsche / Ford / Bentley / Fiat / Audi / etc.
* Crossing points - points to be able to cross the track safely and via bridge/stewards.
* General fun skignz - flying cars/concords, driverless cars etc.
* Hospitality - Highlighting the Sponsored / Partnered catering.
* Family - Focus on family orientated areas - Big Wheel / GAS (motocross aerial display) Vauxhall sponsored kids play area / zipline / football golf and football theme events.





People's interaction with skignz on the day was a great way of people using AR at it's best. An event that not only provided essential information but added an extra element of fun to this already fantastic event.

For further information on Goodwood and its Festival of Speed and other events, please see their website www.goodwood.com

For further information on skignz and how it can help you and/or your business then please visit www.skignz.com or check us out on the usual social media channels under @skignz

Monday, 12 June 2017

ChooseATL Delegation visit the home of skignz

Over the last 12 months we have being spending considerable time in Atlanta GA. Across this period we have met some amazing and interesting people from all walks of Atlanta life…

So for them to take time out, during a very busy trip to the UK, and sandwich in a trip to Middlesbrough in between activities in Manchester and London Tech week was hugely appreciated. We obviously didn't sell them on the Sunny weather, Fortune 50 Company HQ's brands or having an EPL Football (Soccer to our US counterparts) team now.

They were, however, extremely happy with their first impressions of Teesside, with a scenic tour of the North Yorkshire Countryside en-route to their historical hotel at Gisborough Hall and especially the coastline down at Saltburn-by-Sea. 

As well as Teesside's wide and varied 'cultural offering' these guys from ATL were here on 'Business' with the focus being on understanding where skignz comes from but also what other possibilities does Middlesbrough and the surrounding area offer from an Economic Development (ED) point of view, both for Atlanta and the wider Teesside area.

After a fine lunch, it had been arranged for an insightful gathering of what actually occurs in Middlesbrough Council, InvestMiddlesbrough, Teesside University, Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), BE Group, Digital City, Calm Digital and of course, skignz we all provided background on where we fit within the area, our aims, aspirations and also key the challenges we face. 


This was opened up for discussion with the visiting counterparts from the Metro Atlanta region headed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber's (MAC) Grant Wainscott.


From our local area, we were proud to be joined by some major representatives of the varying key LED organisations:

Present on behalf of the Atlanta were senior representatives of MAC, British Consulate:ATL (UKDiT), Fayette County, Invest Atlanta, Coca Cola, Alpharetta , choose:ATL and Aprio, 

Suffice to say, after an engaging few hours of conversation and discussions around joint issues and objectives, quite a bit of common ground was discovered and shared. 



Individual feedback from the MAC contingent proved extremely positive, Emily Poole (Fayette County Dev) said: "We were all speaking the same language, on the same level and the amount of crossover, feedback and potential was quite incredible, I am really looking forward to developing relationships with Middlesbrough and the wider area".

As part of their whistle-stop tour, the skignz team felt it important not only to 'show them the sights' but also engage with local businesses and organisations. 


We would like to say a huge thank you to the guys at Gisborough Hall, Coatham Coaches, Pacittos, Middlesbrough Football Club, Dickens Inn, Lucia's Italian Kitchen in Yarm and Preston Park Museum who went out of their ways to make our guests as welcome and looked after as only we can in the Teesside area. 
Again the feedback from the ATL Group was so compelling they actually wanted to stay a few more days and had praise for each and everyone of the people from the aforementioned local companies especially things like
'the most amazing hotel', Saltburn-by-Sea is a beautiful place, North Yorks Moors look amazing, first lemon top, beautiful food especially the local delicacy (parmo - yes they practically all had one or at least a taste), the Victorian Street was mind blowing and such a treat with the goodie bags from 'The Boro' (educated from the Middlesborough - adding the extra 'o')



Business being the theme of the visit (underpinned by local culture, of course!) was discussed constantly throughout the few days, the ATL contingent fascinated but the history for the Teesside region and where it's now at, the Coach tour of all of the key sites, helped them further understand the transition the area has taken over many periods of time.

From way back to Capt. James Cook, through the 'Industrial Revolution', the emergence of the 'Infant Hercules' and providing steel for the rest of the world (Sydney Harbour Bridge), ICI being the largest chemical plant in the world, locking of the Ayresome Park gates at the football club's lowest ebb.

The resurgence of old shipyards after 'Maggie's Walk in the Wilderness' and the further decline of the steel, shipbuilding, offshore and supporting industries over the more recent past, through to the change of offering from Teesside, with Digital & Creative Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, BioTech, Logistics and Offshore Power.

Teesside was likened to Atlanta (known as the 'Phoenix City' because it's reinvented itself constantly over time), so not only the key issues and opportunities faced by our own area in the present time, relating to our US counterparts, both historical (there's not, as long as ours, admittedly by them) and present day provides a firm foundation to look forward together. 

What that will look like in the future, is down to all those who participated, all we can say, coming from the area and the progress we have made as a company over the last 12 months, despite some significant adversity along the way, is testament to what can be achieved working in both areas simultaneously.

The skignz team feel privileged that the US guys who came took the time out to visit us, the local guys who stepped up (you know who you are) and supported us and look forward to continuing the journey with you all on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Thank-you all again for participating and being present.

If you would like to find out more about Atlanta, then please take a look at the following websites:

Metro Atlanta Chamber: https://www.metroatlantachamber.com 

If you would like to find out more about skignz, please follow us on the usual social media channels.