Kenney Myers, SAG actor and entrepreneur is like most other inventors in that he identified a problem and stepped through creating a solution to that problem. In a very crowded ocean of content that is available on multiple streaming platforms, production companies are always looking for a way to differentiate and more importantly engage with their fans in ways that last beyond just watching the show or series once. Myers has created an augmented reality platform at AugmentedFans,LLC that allows even small productions the opportunity to offer their fans a unique experience through leveraging the augmented reality capabilities of the smart phones that almost everyone carries around with them every day.
As a case study, Myers worked with Candice Cain from Gemelli Films to create a companion augmented reality application for her TV show called Little Cupid. It is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and potentially coming to other networks in the near future. Myers approached Cain with the idea of offering a simple initial experience where fans of Little Cupid could point their phones at the TV/computer screen and see director’s notes pop up at various points throughout the show. These are fun facts or just explanations of what was happening while various scenes were being shot. The first episode director’s notes are available on the app and both AugmentedFans and Gemelli films are dedicated to keeping the notes coming throughout the first season of Little Cupid. So far fan reaction has been great as this new technology offers them a bit of a peek behind the scenes of the production and offers them insight into the characters and the world of Little Cupid.
Myers, an inventor with a couple of issued patents under his belt also filed a provisional patent for this augmented reality platform. The golden rule behind a provisional patent filing is that you need to provide enough information that someone with ordinary skill in the art could make and use the invention without undue experimentation. In general the inventor is asked to answer the questions 1) What is the invention? 2) How is the invention made? And 3) How is the invention used? The provisional patent gives the inventor twelve months of protection and time to file a non-provisional patent. It’s a necessary first step toward protecting your investment and is usually done before or right around the initial release and announcement of the invention.
We had a chance to interview Myers and ask him a few questions about AugmentedFans and about the process he went through to file the provisional patent including why he filed. Here are his responses:
What is the AugmentedFans platform and how did you describe the invention in your provisional patent?
The AugmentedFans platform technically is a multi-tenant cloud platform that leverages a mobile client application to augment the experience fans can have while enjoying their favorite TV show, movies, books, comic books, or even newspapers. It does it through accessing the built-in augmented reality technologies shipping with the latest Apple and Android smart phones. So it uses the camera of the phone to recognize what the fan is looking at and enhances that experience through text overlays, video overlays, audio tracks, or through taking the user to related content on the Internet.
How is the AugmentedFans Platform Made?
The platform was made by leveraging several Microsoft technologies including a robust and new ASP.net core MVC web application, Microsoft Identity, and Xamarin Forms. It also uses the standard augmented reality technologies of ARKit and ARCore for the respected mobile operating systems. What makes this different is the calibration of the image recognition combined with the configurability of the platform. We make it easy for novice users to create and maintain a relatively complex augmented reality solution.
How is the AugmentedFans Platform Used?
The platform is used currently by our team of augmented reality specialists at AugmentedFans, LLC. We meet with a client (someone associated with a TV show, movie, book, or other media) and we plan out a strategy for finding what their fans are most interested in seeing from them through our platform. We then work with the production company to combine their content with the capabilities of the platform to engage with their fans in meaningful ways that let the fan get more out of the content they love. After that we just enter it into the platform and usually work with the producer to give the mobile app a unique look and feel that is consistent with their branding. We then provide analytics on what is and what is not working for them on an ongoing basis.
Why did you file a provisional patent?
We filed the provisional patent because we believe this is a unique use of augmented reality that could potentially change the way fans consume content on streaming networks and in general. It really is the first step in the process of protecting our idea and giving us the time to build up use cases and further develop the platform before submitting the non-provisional patent in 2020. A provisional patent is important because it is relatively quick to put together and allows you say “patent pending” but also doesn’t slow your business down. As an entrepreneur you can immediately start marketing and growing your business while you gradually complete the longer non-provisional patent.
About Kenney Myers
Kenney Myers is a SAG actor that has been in dozens of films and TV shows. He is also a serial tech entrepreneur and has been for over 20 years. He has been a founder or owner in companies like WhiteFence, CollegeDegrees, eNannySource, FanReact, Mainline.gg, and now AugmentedFans. He is listed as the inventor on two patents with the USPTO and is a strong proponent and believer in protecting the rights of inventors. You can follow him @kenneymyers on Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Company Name: AugmentedFans, LLC
Contact Person: Kenney Myers
Email: Send Email
Phone: (888) 41-AUGME
Address:3701 Kirby Dr Ste 989
Country: United States