Augmented Reality may not be a household term yet – but you’re already more than familiar with what this technology can do. Pokemon Go helped with that in 2016. Now, interactive AR content is spearheading how we interact with the world around us.
It’s a close-knit community leading the AR charge, until a Canadian start-up came to the table with WorldCAST, a game-changing web-based AR studio and publishing platform that gives the power to create and share AR experiences to anyone on earth, all accessible via the smartphone you have in your pocket.
Augmented reality is poised to take over how we shop online, how we access content, and how we layer experiences into tourism, hospitality, healthcare, education, and more. The trouble with AR has always been the creation of a platform that can serve a massive population with ease – both creators and audiences alike. The vast majority of AR platforms on the market today are expensive, rely on a heavy knowledge of coding, and make it hard to create content.
Established AR firms work with big brands to showcase their newest features and impress upon investors and stakeholders their growing brand appeal, but those experiences are only geared towards 1% of people that have the latest smartphone, enterprise focused hardware, or those who can shell out $100K+ for a content blast, says KP9 Interactive co-founder and CVO, Wil McReynolds.
“The AR landscape is full of impressive experiences that show where the tech can go one day, when audience adoption and affordability become the focus – but we’ve always thought that
should have been how it went from day one,”says McReynolds. “We’re like the Robin Hood or the Canva of the webAR world. We’ve taken a technology that’s been reserved for those who can afford to hire the expensive firms and packaged it up for $10/month – we even have a freemium version. We’re in this to help everyone; museums, teachers, small businesses, artists, and anyone else who sees the value in immersive, interactive digital content. WorldCAST was purpose-built for the 99%.”
WorldCAST goes one step further in its assault against the mantra’s of mainstream AR platforms like 8th Wall, Blippar, and Zappar; while the competition focuses on new, shiny tech features and code-heavy structuring, WorldCAST tries to share access with as many devices and platforms as possible in a bid to spearhead audience adoption.
WorldCAST is device and operating system agnostic – another industry approach McReynolds says he’s perpetually puzzled by. “I just don’t get it,” he laughs. “You’ll see this incredible AR experience and want to try it, only to find you can’t because you don’t have the latest iPhone. That’s no way to impress audiences. We want to see everyone using AR.”
So what’s a small Canadian company doing in a space packed with Silicon Valley money and pedigree? From KP9’s perspective, location means nothing.
“We speak to global executives and people of influence everyday from our offices in Ontario’s cottage country,” says McReynolds. “It’s 2021 – we’ve never been more connected, and we’re finding the world of business agrees. We’ve managed to build one of the world’s most powerful WebAR engines and an insanely talented team right here – we’re grateful to live where we do.”
KP9 Interactive chose a backwards approach to studio development. Wil and his team focused solely on the WorldCAST engine first – building the strongest, most capable, and most user-friendly UX design possible to ensure the kinks were ironed out before the platform was unleashed on the world. They focused on developing a three-headed studio platform, with more coming, that allows people to create marker, markerless, and geo-based content via their PrintCAST, ShowCAST, and GeoCAST studios. This platform is built for the devices of today – and the wearables of tomorrow working on glasses from companies like Vuzix, NuEyes, Nreal, and Epson.
With PrintCAST, creators can augment their business cards, posters, billboards, or brochures – placing video, 3D models, audio, and buttons to printed materials. ShowCAST allows users to add 3D models and other immersive content to any space, at scale. Want to see what that new coffee table looks like in your house? ShowCAST allows you to place objects and content anywhere, then interact with them in real space. The newest addition is GeoCAST – a one-of-a-kind WebAR studio dedicated to geographic content. GeoCAST uses GPS to anchor custom wayfinding markers at sites of interest, tourism destinations, washroom or parking facilities, and can provide on-site directions in amusement parks, shopping malls, or at the trailhead.
WorldCAST is the only webAR platform that allows any user to create interactive AR content. It’s inevitably going to change the way we think about content sharing – and it’s placing the power of creation into our hands. All they need now, is your creativity.