Not a big surprise that Hallmark would get into the augmented reality game with a line of AR greeting cards. It makes a lot of sense to add content to a static piece of cardboard. I would suggest they consider adding free smartphone apps to view the cards so people can check them at the birthday table, but it’s a start.
Hallmark Launches Webcam Greetings with Augmented Reality
New cards combine the physical and virtual world
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 12, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Hallmark Cards, Inc., today announced the release of webcam greetings, new cards that use augmented reality technology to bring the card to life on a computer screen.
The person receiving the card can visit www.hallmark.com/extra and follow the directions to be able to view a 3D animated feature by holding the greeting card up to the web camera. The technology breathes a digital life into the card. The animation tracks with the movement of the card, so no matter which way the card is moved, the animation will rotate along in full 3D. In many cards, various scenes appear as the card is turned in different angles in front of the webcam for a range of digital experiences.
“As Hallmark embarks upon our next 100 years in business, it’s important to continually identify new ways to help amplify the emotions our consumers feel when experiencing and sharing our products,” said Monic Muldrew, associate product manager. “With the experience available through these cards that come to life with a webcam, we hope consumers will fully explore and interact with this fun new way to connect.”
The augmented reality enhancements in webcam greetings are unique to the greeting card industry. Ten cards currently are available for Valentine’s Day and, as the year progresses, the company will roll out additional webcam greetings. Most webcam greetings retail for $2.99. Some webcam greetings include a sound clip that plays when the recipient opens the card (clip is audible without going online). These cards retail for $5.99. All webcam greetings are available wherever Hallmark cards are sold.