Billion Dollar Unicorns: Blippar Bets On Its Visual Browser

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Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/ 

According to a report by Digi-Capital, the augmented and virtual reality market is estimated to grow to $120 billion by the year 2020, compared with the forecast of less than $10 billion in 2016. In 2020, virtual reality (VR) is expected to account for $30 billion of the market while augmented reality (AR) will account for the remaining $90 billion. Billion Dollar Unicorn player Blippar is focused on making a mark in this high growth industry.

Blippar’s Offerings

London-based Blippar was founded by Ambarish Mehra and Omar Tayeb in 2011. The idea behind Blippar came about when the two friends were sharing a joke about seeing the Queen come to life out of a £20 note. Inspired by the joke, Omar went on to build a working prototype. Soon the two found Steve Spencer and Jess Butcher, and the four teamed up to set up Blippar.

What began as a joke has now turned into a visual discovery engine that uses advanced technology of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and computer vision technology to deliver incredible results through its Blippar app. The service allows users to blip about objects or brands and see those blips converted to informational and interactive content on their mobile device. For instance, a user can scan an orange using the app, and the app will tell them where they can purchase the fruit from their local grocer and also give them additional information, including nutritional content and recipes.

Additionally, Blippar also provides a self-service platform called Blippbuilder that enables license-holders including publishers, agencies, or brands to build blips into products, pages, and advertising content on their own. The web-based program allows the marketers and creative agencies to convert a print product including advertising pages, billboards, packaging, and merchandizing to become interactive. For instance, to promote a new line of nail paint, Maybelline allows users to scan a print ad and virtually try the various shades of the varnish on their nails.

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