Chariot Co., Ltd, an augmented reality (AR) development studio, debuted its new AR kiosk solution at the Tokyo International Toy Show on June 14. Unveiled at Happinet Corporation's booth to showcase the company's new "Domino World" toy series, the kiosk, which uses technology under license from Metaio GmbH, is among the first of its kind to be launched in Japan.
An existing issue for many packaged toys, according to Eiji Utsu of Happinet's Original Toy Development Division, is that, because customers cannot directly play with the product, it becomes less appealing. This, in turn, may make them less likely to follow through with a purchase. "Although products such as appliances, stationary and clothing can be physically touched by customers, with the exception of certain toys, this can be difficult." The AR kiosk thus provides an attractive solution. Once customers present a Domino World package to the kiosk's embedded camera, 3D animated contents are overlaid together with the package on the kiosk display, enabling customers to effectively preview the toy. "Understanding the contents of a product and being able to enjoy playing with it are key. We decided to adopt the AR kiosk because it fills these needs," Utsu said.
"We are very excited by this project and by the possibilities it holds," said Timothy Sullivan, AR project director at Chariot. "As evidenced by the awed look on people's faces at the Tokyo Toy Show, AR has the power to captivate people, present them with something new and magical, and as a result of this interaction, compel them toward purchasing a product. We aim to expand use of AR in the toy industry, not only in kiosk form but as downloadable interactive content as well."
On the kiosk's utility in the toy industry, Utsu feels it is a game-changer. "Including its value at the Tokyo International Toy Show, the AR kiosk is a revolutionary sales tool. In the future, I feel there is a good probability that this sort of technology will change promotional activities at stores in a big way."
Domino World AR kiosks will be available on a test basis at selected Tokyo area toy stores, electronics stores, and retailers from July 28.
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Chariot Co., Ltd (chariot.co.jp) develops a range of social applications and games for the Facebook platform as well as provides augmented reality solutions.