Since the augmented reality merges the virtual reality world with the real actual world, it is no longer a thing of science fiction and cinema as seen in movies like Ironman, Avatar and The Amazing Spiderman. It is much more than that. It is slowly becoming one of the most powerful medium of advertisement since it increases the customer engagements, sales and productivity.
The augmented reality and virtual reality market are estimated to reach $1.06 Billion by 2018 worldwide but in India, it is still in a nascent stage. However, experts believe that the market for AR will grow by 30% this year.
Even, Indian smartphone users are expected to grow by 225 million by the end of 2015, so there is a great potential for augmented reality apps in this space. With big brands like Ikea, Ferrari, Mitsubishi, Lego, Google, Facebook, Toyota, Nivea, Disney, etc. are already betting big on augmented reality, WOWSOME is bringing this technology to Indian markets sooner than you’d think.
Based in Hyderabad, WOWSOME is pioneering the AR technology in India by creating augmented reality advertisements for brands. It was launched in September 2014 and their first AR app “WOWSOMEAPP” was released recently in February 2015. It is one of the fastest growing startups in the field of augmented reality in India and its nearest competitors are Gamooz, AliveAR, AdStruck, Imaginate and Xenium.
With the aim of enhancing the interaction and engagement of the surrounding environment, WOWSOME wants to perfectly merge advertising with entertainment. As Vishal says, “Augmented Reality, dubbed the next mass medium, it adds digital content to the real world when looked at through a smartphone or a tablet and enhances it with an overlay of relevant information.”
Within a short period of their launch, this bootstrapped startup has attracted some cool customers from all around the world such as L’Oreal Paris India, Being Human, Apollo Hospitals, Deccan Chronicle, Uber, Budweiser, Audi Noida, Fuji Film, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, etc.
Vishal Reddy, who is the founder of WOWSOME is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Indore and a serial entrepreneur, whose skills have made him popular in the field of technology, advertising, luxury, health and agriculture all over the world. His co-founder, Karan Bhangay is also a serial entrepreneur with many startups such as Jukebox Media and The Indian Luxury Expo in his kitty.
WOWSOME is the brainchild of both entrepreneurs, as Vishal says, “Coming from a print background, we saw that social media was taking over all the print revenues for most of the publications. We thought we should add more life to the dead content that was there in print. We wanted to add more layers of digital content. That’s how we came up with the idea through which content could be more creative.”
WOWSOMEAPP can integrate augmented reality content in the following stuff – Packaging, brochure, poster, billboard, t-shirts, print ads, business cards, point of sale, exhibit, selfies, motion wall and branded objects. They even have a special app called WOW ART, which allows you to integrate funny content in your photos.
Like every startup, WOWSOME also faced some tough situations during their initial period, as Vishal says, “When you are trying to do something never done before, everyday is an issue, which requires swift analysis and decision-making. Toughest decision was in validating and choosing to invest in the idea. Rest is execution, just being progressive, everyday!” He adds.
Since Indian market is slowly embracing the technology of AR, WOWSOME wants to dominate the industry in every aspect. About the company’s future goals, Vishal says, “Augmented Reality becoming a vogue with advertisers and WOWSOME maintaining the lead as the voice of the industry.”
Speaking about the scope of augmented reality in India, Vishal said, “In the next five years, Augmented Reality would be deeply integrated with systems around us. Brands will pre-budget for significant spends in AR, as they currently do for digital marketing.”