Augmented reality is a way of seeing the environment that surrounds us. A mix of technologies which allows us to interact with the world as we never have before. But technology is only a tool - it is the content that makes the difference. And it is exactly this content that JoinPad, the first 100%-Italian augmented reality farm directed by
The idea was born in October 2009, seeing what was happening on the streets of Teheran. "When I saw young people protesting in Iran, I thought it could be important to create a web service that could coordinate thousands of people in real time. Software that could combine uninterruptedly real and virtual elements and create a bridge between the tangible world and virtual universe which would be accessible to everyone," says Rubin. The idea also appealed to his long-time friends Andrea Gonteri, today the company's chief technical officer, and Alessandro Vannicelli, chief of press & communication. But the project only really took off last December with financing from a United States fund.
As a result, there are already twelve people working in different sectors. "Our services are accessible to any company: we start from about 20,000 euros for a mobile application," explains Rubin. "And we are continuously updating. We are not just a software house, but also an observatory and research center applied to changes in technology, innovation and experiential marketing."
Augmented reality makes it possible to overlay virtual and multimedia objects - objects in 3D, video clips, photos and information - onto the surrounding environment, thus creating a new form of communication that ranges from advertising to domotics. This is of interest for a range of markets, from tourism to mass consumption, with results that can be exploited rigorously in real time. "By the end of June, we will be launching on the market products that can radically change our way of learning about and perceiving reality," Rubin stresses. "On one hand, we will make available the most avant-garde technologies, applying the potential of augmented reality and geolocalization to products with a high media impact. On the other, we want to make the consumer an active participant, rather than a passive observer or just someone who buys."
There are two projects of particular interest conceived by JoinPad so far: their Track packaging service which, through recognition of a product's packaging from a video flow using a proprietary application on a webcam-equipped device, permits activation of dedicated multimedia content (videoclips as well as text/images). Starting from the assumption that in-depth knowledge of the territory has as its goal making more efficacious and efficient planning and communication, sales, distribution and customer service activities, JoinPad also designs and develops geolocalization projects that diffuse information connected to space, starting from identifying the geographical position in the real world of a given object and exploiting the GPS position of the mobile device being utilized.
The real challenge for the future, however, is to arrive at providing services that improve the operational efficiency of companies. For example, for Screen Service, a Brescia telecommunications firm, JoinPad developed wearable hardware to be used to train and assist operators during the various phases of installation and maintenance of equipment workstations, resulting in significant savings and enhanced quality of work.