Audience engagement 2.0: AR debuts at Davos 2017

The Phab 2 Pro at the World Economic Forum

The world’s top decision makers at Davos interact with Tango’s augmented reality at The Circulars 2017 with Accenture and Lenovo

The age of augmented reality is finally here—and it’s starting to breathe new life into meetings, hospitality, retail and a host of different industries. As one of the most potent, cutting-edge tools available for commercial deployment, AR can keep audiences engaged and interested in your content and presentation throughout the course of meetings, activities and client interactions. This year, Accenture partnered with Lenovo to bring Tango augmented reality to the World Economic Forum at The Circulars 2017, the world’s premier award program to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a contribution to driving the principles of a circular economy.

Augmented reality works to complement and enhance tried-and-trusted audience engagement methods such as live polls, mobile apps and social media. This new tool allows guests to explore virtual text, video or imagery overlaid on physical set pieces, navigate from virtual station to station through a series of interactive activities or even take group selfies next to virtual 3D objects or people with an untethered large-screen smartphone or tablet. These experiences were possible this year at the World Economic Forum through the technology powering the Phab 2 Pro, the world’s first Tango-enabled smartphone. And these capabilities are also on display at the Detroit Institute of the Arts’ Lumen exhibit, which allows visitors to see AR overlays on the Phab 2 Pro’s screen, providing contextual information on how a work of art was initially used, its original location or details not normally seen by the public.

At The Circulars, Accenture Digital employed Tango technology to enhance the experience in two ways. First, a 3D virtual model of the iconic Circulars trophy was displayed at the event using Tango. Equipped with the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, event attendees were able to place the trophy anywhere in their environment—a table, the floor or on someone’s palm. Users will be able to see this trophy through the smartphone’s screen, walk around it, and take selfies with other attendees while holding it in their hands. The trophy could also be made to spin and overlay text that provides details about its history, and users can walk around this 3D object and look at it from any angle.

Guests at The Circulars, numbering some of the world’s leading decision makers, could also digitally interact and engage with their event environment through the screen of their Phab 2 Pro while they walked around the venue. One of the main strengths of Tango rests in its ability to recognize physical surroundings and track its user’s position in a room. As guests explore the room, overlaid content such as textual descriptions, graphics and images appears in their environment, including visualizing interesting statistics or fun facts about the Circulars Programme, as well as a timeline of the history of the Circulars. This activity allowed audiences to stay engaged, learn more about the organization and absorb content and information in a way that’s more interactive and accessible than printed guides, mobile apps or presentations.

In bringing this technology to The Circulars, Accenture and Lenovo showcased the art of the possible and enabled guests to understand how AR could impact their businesses, clients and everyday lives. The whole experience and demonstration was intended to spark ideas of how innovative digital technologies could boost the circular economy.

With a growing number of app developers and partners working with Accenture and Lenovo, Tango promises integration into an increasing number of phones and devices, much like GPS today. Meanwhile, Tango’s AR and indoor wayfinding potential will become increasingly of use at events and launches, and world events such as The Circulars 2017 are just the start.

About The Circulars 2017

Traditionally held during the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Circulars offers recognition to individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society across the globe that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles. Circular economies are resource-efficient alternatives to the traditional wasteful linear economy, allowing companies to innovate and do “more with less” by extracting the most value as possible from resources and recovering them at the end of their service lives. Learn more about The Circulars here.

About Tango

Tango-enabled  phones are equipped with sensors that capture over 250,000 measurements in a second as it scans for information on position on rotation. It then processes this information through three core technologies—motion tracking, area learning and depth sensing, which functions as a third eye for your phone. Motion tracking lets this eye “see” the phone’s location in 3D space, while area learning tells it what room it’s in. Finally, depth perception lets it perceive the shape of the world around it, detecting surfaces and obstacles. This technology was demonstrated to press at last year’s MWC event in Barcelona when Lenovo partnered with Google to show how Tango’s indoor navigation and augmented reality technologies worked at the National Museum of Art at Catalonia. Learn more the Phab 2 Pro and Tango here.