AR&Co took home Auggie Award from the Augmented World Expo (AWE) 2016 in Silicon Valley, United States. The company won the Best Campaign category for creatively making augmented reality (AR) technology to a milk company in Vietnam. That was the second time AR&Co won the Best Campaign category in that competition. In 2015, AR&Co also took home the award for Nigerian presidential campaign.
“The AWE is like the Oscars of the creative industry in the field of augmented reality. We don’t think one can win the best campaign two times,” said AR&Co Co-founder, Peter Shearer Setiawan. AR&Co is an Indonesian company that focuses on AR technology. Thanks to their creativity and achievements, Indonesia is famous as one of the great countries that can implement AR in the world.
From Rags to Riches
At first, Peter Shearer did not have interest in AR technology. His dream was to be an entrepreneur. He tried many things from ordinary businesses like selling clothes, shoes, food and even some magic tricks. His attempts ended up with some failures but he was never going to give up. He then met his partner, Daniel Surya, and planned to develop mobile apps together. From that moment, he has been focusing on AR.
Since augmented reality is a new kind of technology, it was a little bit hard to convince people to use it. Established in 2009, AR&co then tried educating the clients through demos, roadshow, workshop, and seminars. “The clients mostly need something new to get closer with millennials, so we offer them augmented reality and they love it,” Peter said in interview with Ziliun. The company now has an office in Jakarta as well as branches in Manila, Barcelona, Singapore and Silicon Valley.
Augmented Reality Developments
Augmented reality is about bringing virtual world to reality and can be useful for any kind of industries. The development of AR started for military purposes. Now, entertainments such as Pokemon Go and Snapchat are using augmented reality.
Augmented reality still needs further developments. “We hope that people will have difficulties to differentiate virtual and reality in the future,” said Peter. People keep moving from one device to another, from laptop to mobile, then to glasses. AR&Co hope that people can move to soft lens where it can be more interactive in the future.
The Future of Augmented Reality in Indonesia
Indonesia began to understand more about augmented reality. People became more familiar and develop more interest to use the technology. “The market is still big and we still have many things to explore,” said Peter. AR&Co have tried using augmented reality together with Kompas in Indonesia. In 2011, they made it possible for people, who went to Kompas website, to watch moving newspaper just like in Harry Potter.
AR&Co has proved that Indonesia is capable of building new technology. “People keep asking where we came from since they thought it is so sophisticated. We are so proud to answer that we are from Jakarta and our team are Indonesians,” said Roger Fatah, Head of Creative in AR&Co. Indonesia has many potentials and talents. AR&Co hopes to inspire many young generation in Indonesia to innovate and create new technologies.