Tag Archives | Tracking Mark

LEGO Uses Augmented Reality To Make Models Come To Life

Lego Digital Box

LEGO is testing out a new idea called the Digital Box that could forever change the way we think of product packaging.

The Digital Box is the work of Metaio, the same company that created the Virtual Mini, and it uses the same augmented reality technology to create a virtual model of the LEGO toy from inside the box that sits on top of the box when held in front of a special interactive kiosk. While this might seem like a neat trick for in-store consumers, just imagine what it could do for online shopping.

As you can see in the picture, the Digital Box is just a monitor that’s connected to a computer that’s using a Logitech webcam to capture video. Each box contains a tracking mark, and that tracking mark tells the computer exactly where to place the LEGO model in the video, but it doesn’t need to be limited to just the LEGO box, as that tracking mark could just as easily be printed out from home and viewed through your own webcam.

Now, when shopping on Amazon or any other online e-tailer, instead of just viewing a picture of the completed LEGO model on your computer, you could actually hold a virtual representation of the finished model in your hands and twist and turn it to easily examine it from all angles. Taking the concept a step further, and sticking with LEGO as an example, you can even imagine a scenario where you could watch the entire model assemble itself on the screen before your very own eyes, giving you an idea of how difficult the model will be to assemble, and how everything fits together.

What’s interesting is that this imaginary scenario is quickly becoming a reality, as LEGO will be testing the Digital Box at a few of their European stores initially, but could roll it out to each one of their stores in the next year or two if the initial test is successful. From there, it’s not hard to imagine them integrating the technology into their website so that anyone browsing through the various LEGO models could get a very detailed look at each and every one before deciding which to buy.

The Good:

  • Augmented reality brings a boxed product to life and lets kids see what they’re really buying.
  • Low technological requirements make this campaign accessible to almost anyone.
  • Has the potential to easily expand online and drastically alter the way we shop for products through our computer.

The Bad:

  • Not yet an intuitive process, so many consumers will miss the campaign entirely.

The Future:

  • Augmented reality changes the way we shop for products online and brings many different static products to life.