Starbucks Makes Valentine’s Day an Augmented Reality [VIDEO]
If you’ve visited Starbucks lately, you may have noticed some heart-adorned cups designed to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
What you might not know is that the hearts are part of a mobile augmented reality program. The chain has updated its Cup Magic iPhone and Android app from the holidays with a Valentine’s Day twist: If you have the app and put the cups within your phone’s field of vision, your phone will display images of heart-shaped flower petals flying off the cup. You can also send a video of the scene to your beloved via email or Facebook.
The existence of the app demonstrates Starbucks’s continuing commitment to mobile. The holiday campaign was the chain’s first major foray into AR, but the coffee giant also introduced QR codes on in-store items last October. Starbucks also introduced a mobile payment app early last year that has been used in more than 26 million transactions.
The embrace of mobile technology seems to have helped Starbucks’s bottom line. Sales rose 16% in the company’s most-recent quarter and profits were up 10% — both were the biggest rise since the recession began. The chain also plans to begin offering wine and beer in select locations soon.
Despite such success, Starbucks has been one of relatively few major marketers to attempt an AR program. European companies seem to have been more on the cutting edge of the technology; Tesco and Guinness are two recent AR converts.
What do you think? Have you tried Cup Magic? Let us know in the comments.
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