Manitowoc uses augmented reality to boost beverage system sales

Exhibit Interactive Manitowoc Beverage Systems augmented reality

Manitowoc is using augmented reality technology to boost sales of its soft drink dispenser.

The firm adopted an augmented reality marker printed on a drinks coaster, developed by event technology company Exhibit Interactive (ei), to promote sales of its over-counter electrical soft drink dispenser Advanced Lean Beverage Innovation (ALBI).

Visitors to Manitowoc’s stand at Brau Brevaile in Germany last month were able to view a 3D computer aided design (CAD) model of ALBI to demonstrate the product to customers using augmented reality.

Manitowoc chose to use augmented reality (AR) to launch ALBI as it meant customers could essentially take a sample product away with them after seeing it at the event. They could then ‘try it for size’ on counter tops in their own food and beverage outlets with the aid of a drinks coaster and a free to download app.

Emma Gardner, marketing manager at Manitowoc, said: “We saw a prototype which ei had created showing how a product sample could be demonstrated using AR with a 3D CAD model. It’s not something we’d seen anyone else in the industry do before, so felt it was the ideal option to launch our ALBI product.”

The drinks coaster was printed with a graphic of a smart phone featuring the ALBI logo as an AR marker, together with the tagline ‘Thirsty to know more?’. By using ei’s ‘Captivate’ app, users can hold their smart phone over the ALBI marker and a 3D model of the dispenser appears in front of them – seemingly in mid air.

By tilting their smart phone they can rotate the model to see detailed features and ‘virtually’ slot it into place on their counter top, to see how it might fit.

Gardner continued: “It was interesting to see the reactions of visitors at Brau Brevaile. They saw the ALBI product and then they saw it using augmented reality. They were hooked. It just added a completely new dimension to our launch.

“Even posting the drinks coasters out to contacts after the event meant they too could see a virtual 3D model of the product and enjoy almost the same experience as those who attended the show.”

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