Pierre Addoum, Co-Founder & CEOIf one claims to breathe life into characters from books, it would be often met with incredulity. But for ARGO Augmented Reality, an augmented reality solution provider dedicated to the print industry, bringing print media to life using augmented reality is the raison d'être. ARGO’s entry into the realm of AR was prompted by identification of the increasing disparity between printed sales brochures and digital sales channels and how it translates to revenue loss.
Faced with similar obstacles, Decathlon—world’s biggest sporting goods retailer, got dozens of their brochures for many different sports and outdoor activities, augmented with ARGO’s AR technology. With the new “Decathlon Reality App” by ARGO, customers can get better virtual experiences of all the listed products. While this strengthens Decathlon’s value as a trusted brand, it also helps them get better convertibility and increased ROI with marketing campaigns.
According to Pierre Addoum, co-founder and CEO of ARGO, the biggest obstacles frequently faced by businesses for the deployment of immersive experiences to unite printed brochures and digital sales channel—beyond initial proof of concept—are technology, cost, and complexity of creating content. “We help our customers to successfully bridge the gap between a successful POC and deployment at scale,” states Addoum.
To maintain a smooth transition from POC to deployment, ARGO optimizes various factors in the AR value chain. The company designs industry-specific requirements for print, publishing and retail industries to change the competitive environment for vendors. To strengthen their offering, ARGO offers two different approaches, to help customers with the best print-to-AR experience. The first approach involves its universal mobile app called SnapPress. It is a public app that allows any customer to augment their print media with AR. The second approach, that ARGO has taken, is to offer an SDK that can be integrated into customers' existing app.
We believe that augmented reality is the next change of interface and ARGO is at the wheel of this change
What helped ARGO’s product development team shape its product offering to cater perfectly to the needs of the print industry is its in-depth experiences in the AR industry.
As witnessed by Addoum, most often the contents for ARare already available in different forms within the content management systems of potential customers. To leverage these existing contents and facilitate re-creation of content in AR, ARGO has developed online authoring tools and a powerful API that help business reuse their existing digital content. The company has built a strong barrier to entry with identification capabilities (required to avoid confusion between visuals for a large set) that outperform technologies developed by its main competitors.
With offices in Montréal and New York, ARGO is now expanding its operations in North America. Simultaneously, 2019 is about to witness another product launch by the company, to offer the same interactions observed in augmented reality in the physical world, directly in the digital world within on-screen PDF files. Apart from this new product release, ARGO continues to integrate AI and machine learning algorithms into their products, to understand the augmented elements a consumer is interested in, using cameras. This would allow objects in the user's field of vision to be identified and labeled.
Being one of the very few companies to provide AR solutions to the print industry, Addoum is confident about his team’s proven ability to continue to drive the change forward. He says, “We believe that augmented reality is the next change of interface and ARGO is at the wheel of this change.”