Augmented Reality tech |pioneer plots AR revolution
A NEW START-UP in Khon Kaen province, OS Corporation hopes to change the world through its augmented reality (AR) technology after being spun off from the |eight-year-old software firm, Think Technology.
Though OS Corporation might be a new firm, and focused on the new AR technology, it should be taken very seriously as the company founder, Apichai Ruangsiripiyakul, pioneered AR technology in Thailand.
Apichai, who is also the chief executive officer of OS Corporation, said the goal of their particular technology breakthrough, ARZIO, is to help people create AR content at both a lower cost and in less time.
“Most customers have the same problem – there is limited time and budget for AR development, but there is a high demand for AR applications,” said Apichai.
The driving idea behind the creation of ARZIO is to “make augmented reality in minutes” with a minimum of required materials such as a video, a 3D model and a picture. Throw in a “marker” and customers could create their own AR content in a few minutes.
“Our system is designed to be easy to |use,” said Apichai. “It takes a shorter development time to meet the needs of customers who need it fast. We also added a special system.”
ARZIO is built as a cloud-based platform on which customers can create their own AR content or AR application according to their purposes. AR can be used as an education tool, for marketing and advertising message, and even for games and e-commerce.
On ARZIO’s AR cloud platform, many easy-to-use features will be available to customers for the initial launch expected in February 2018, including a photo gallery, video, and a 3D model. Other features, including e-commerce, mini game and, artificial intelligence bundles are set to launch in the third quarter of 2018.
The company spent two years in development of ARZIO with a full-time complement of four people on the team.
Apichai believes there is much potential for the platform across industry sectors, including education, publications, the music industry, the travel industry, events and exhibitions, advertising, marketing, and ecommerce.
Revenue models come from two streams. The first, a basic package in one-month, three-month, and one-year increments. The second stream is for single development projects, including mini-games, advertising, and AR single app, and 3D modelling.
AR will revolutionise the e-commerce industry, Apichai asserts, and ARZIO has been designed with that sector in mind. The concept of ARZIO’s AR e-commerce platform is to allow products to be shown as AR 3D models that entice target customers to interact with as well as make a purchase.
“We’ll jump-start the AR market in Thailand,” he said.
“We will be number one for AR, the leader, and get 85 per cent of the market share in Thailand,” said Apichai.
He shared the latest development – ARZIO has joined hands with “LOVEiS Music” to utilise AR technology to enhance the music industry, in terms of both engagement and e-commerce. ARZIO will offer a new experience for music lovers to enjoy while listening to their favourite artists, said Apichai.
Apichai first fell in love with AR in 2008, and came to believe that it represented the future. He has dedicated his life since then to the deep study of AR technology.
About eight years ago, he first waded |into AR technology when he set up his |own company, Think Technology, focused mainly on providing AR development services.
In the first three years of operations, he said, the company had barely any orders. The technology was so new to the Thai market and would only work with a webcam camera. The company’s revenues came from overseas customers.
Apichai turned to publishing, eventually developing eight titles on AR and an AR card for education tools. Think Technology also switched to a project-by-project approach, developing individualised AR apps for businesses.
Then last year he saw the potential of AR as the world caught up with its potential. OS Corp was the result, with a focus on developing AR and also bringing AR from its niche status into mass use by making it easy and quick for customers to use.
The result was a major turn from tailor-made AR development to platform-based AR.
The next move for OS Corporation is to merge AR with artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create new products and services for businesses. Behind AI, Apichai said, machine learning and deep learning would be blended to provide support to the AI function. By 2019, he predicted, the company would launch products and services that emerge from AR, AI, and IoT.
Established in November 2016, OS Corporation, aims to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) within four years.
“We do not need to do fundraising for now, but we are still open to fundraising opportunities,” said Apichai. “We invested our own money to develop ARZIO. We are focusing on making the platform create the real benefits.”
ARZIO will start earning revenues next year, he predicted, and break even within 12 months after its official launch.
The company has four co-founders and four staff, with plans to increase to 12 staff next year.