The Overly app’s straightforward interface and accessibility have always been a big hit with our clients and end-users alike. But, as any AR creator knows, it’s not just the technology, but rather the augmented reality content that makes consumers tick. So, if you’re in the business of planning or creating AR experiences, you will naturally want to know what can be achieved with the Overly app to ensure it’s the right fit for your campaign.
To make it easier for you, I’ve created a list of all augmented reality experiences that can be brought to life via the Overly app. Once our DIY augmented reality creator for web is launched, you’ll be able to do most of the AR creation work yourself, with some more advanced assistance necessary for our business solutions clients. Currently, regardless of the size of your project, you can contact us for manual assistance.
Before I list all of our AR features, here are some basic facts about the app for your reference:
- Launched in 2014, Overly app is a marker-based augmented reality mobile application, which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
- Available to download for free from Google Play and the App Store, it can be used on almost any smartphone or tablet that has access to data or Wi-Fi.
- Available in 20 languages, including its default mode in English, the app has brought to life more than 4 000 markers across the globe and its total lifetime downloads excluding updates and re-downloads are 25 700 for iOS and 42 100 for Android users.
- All Overly app clients can access scan statistics for their campaigns by default. Other options are agreed beforehand and available on a per-campaign basis.
All of the Overly app augmented reality experiences are powered by marker images
First things first. As a business, Overly delivers custom solutions and in-app integrations for different augmented reality projects, but the Overly app is solely marker-based. This is because we want to keep the app easy-to-use and our service fast.
So, to create an augmented reality project for the Overly app, you, with no exception, will need a marker image, also known as a trigger photo.
Its dimensions can vary, but the longest side shouldn’t exceed 1920px. Both PNG and JPG formats are great, the only rule is not to use a transparent background. I’ve written a piece on good and bad AR marker practices here.
As long as you have an AR trigger image, you can bring it to life with the Overly app. Below are all currently available features you can introduce to your campaign along with interactive demos. Let’s start with the easiest setups and upgrade from there.
1. Single image reveal in augmented reality
The most basic augmented reality experience consists of an AR photo marker that reveals another image when scanned. This may sound too simple, but it is actually enough of AR “so-called” magic for various artworks or outfits, e.g., when a t-shirt says one thing but another, perhaps more edgy, interpretation is revealed in AR.
The image that replaces the marker should be either JPG or PNG, and its longest side should be 1920px max. The augmentation may look best if both photos are of the same width and height. Below is an example of an image overlay that reveals an inforgraphic.
2. Augmented reality image gallery
A level up from a single photo, is revealing an image gallery when an AR marker is triggered. In a business context, this could be used when someone scans an ad for a particular piece of clothing, and a gallery could reveal what other color options or styles are available and invite people to proceed to the website.
However, it fits just right with personal projects, where video production costs may be too high, or video content doesn’t exist for something that happened a while back. Below is an example of a wedding gallery. The marker photo could be a framed photo on the wall, and an extended gallery could be revealed in augmented reality.
The images that feature within the gallery can be either JPG or PNG. The augmentation may look best if all photos are of the same width and height and match the trigger photo as the gallery will overlay the marker.
3. 360° photo tour in AR
Another photo-driven AR experience that is a notch more complicated is a static 360°experience. You will need to involve someone skilled in creating high-quality panoramic views for this one.
Essentially it is a JPG image in terms of the format. But once you scan the marker, the tour pops open on your phone, and you can look around a given environment, similarly to when you wear a virtual reality headset as the content isn’t integrated with your existing surroundings.
4. Video augmented reality layer
Video is probably the bread and butter of early AR experiences, and it is this feature that people often consider the most basic (they haven’t seen AR photo examples most probably). However, instead of just uploading a single video snippet to an AR marker, there are some features that can make the experience better for the end-user.
5. Random multiple videos in AR
You can attach several videos to a single marker, and one video will be retrieved at random when a person scans the marker with the Overly app. People will be able to watch a different video if they rescan the page, try it out below.
6. AR experience with multiple videos on one page
Another option how several videos could be integrated with the Overly app is below. In this example, when the page with the three markers is scanned, all three videos come to life without sound. As the user touches the video they want to explore in detail, the sound for that specific content comes on.
*Example coming soon
7. Multilingual campaigns
You may also run a campaign in several countries so we allow for the same video to be uploaded in multiple languages. As a person installs their app, they can set the default language for their content. If they choose anything other than English, which is set as default, their preferred language will be used when displaying the video.
The videos retrieved via the Overly app create the augmented reality experience as they appear over markers, seemingly making images come to life. However, a user can tap to watch videos in full-screen mode, so they don’t have to point at the marker continuously.
As for integrating an AR video experience via the Overly app, the suggested video formats are MP4, Full HD, or the longest side at 1920px. The maximum upload capacity is 300mb.
8. AR alpha channel video (transparency feature)
A step up in the video hierarchy is augmented reality alfa video. This is when you want the augmented reality content to interact with real life settings. For example, you may film your content on the green background so it could be made transparent. Below is an example of performances that were recorded in that way and the result resembled a tiny bit of 3D experience.
9. Alpha mask video in AR
Alfa mask is another type of video that you can use via the Overly app. By default, all videos are square, but the marker you bring to life may happen to be a different shape. You can then choose to create a transparent outline to your square video so it would look good on the marker. An example could be a round drink coaster. I have included it below.
10. 360° video tour in AR
Similarly to a 360°static tour, you can offer such an experience in a video format. Once a user scans an AR marker, you could reveal a completely new environment that is in motion that users can explore by moving their mobile device around.
You will most likely need advanced help to shoot the video, but other than that, the integration with the Overly app is just as straightforward as an ordinary video frame.
11. Static AR 3D model
We’re moving onto even bigger things now and 3D models are the trending AR feature right now. The most basic, yet still an impressive option is to go for a static 3D model, adjusting the size and its position towards the marker.
This is excellent for most product demonstrations as you do not want much movement when it comes to trying out furniture, electronics, glasses, etc. Below is an example with an AR lamp for you to explore for reference.
Please note that this is actually intended as a print ad, so may look slightly odd trying it on a computer. But the idea is that you can place the marker wherever you’d like to have your potential purchase in the room and see how it fits in. You can also go around it and look at it from different perspectives.
12. 3D animations in AR
If you have advanced 3D skills or are working on an AR project alongside an expert design team, you will be able to create 3D animations for the Overly app. Conceptually, it is similar to the above, but the content is in motion.
To bring such a project to life, you will need to create an asset pack with animations. This is usually a feature that business clients or creators opt for. Below is an entertainment example that we launched last Christmas. It is actually a wine label that was featured on our corporate gifts. You can watch a video case study here if the marker doesn’t quite showcase the idea.
13. Static button for driving conversions
Regardless of the above content you choose to go for, you can add buttons to direct people to take the next step after their AR experience. It may be a button to read more or to proceed to buy. You can also include Google Tracking links within these buttons to track if conversions are happening thanks to AR.
14. Customizable AR buttons
A more advanced option is to go for augmented reality buttons. Considering screen sizes, no more than five buttons are recommended. These can take people to different destinations and feature wherever you wish within the mobile screen. Button language can be adapted depending on the user’s default language. An example of custom AR buttons below.
I hope I have given you a clear overview of what’s currently possible via the Overly app. As we trial new technologies and update our offer, I’ll keep returning to this blog and make changes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on LinkedIn or leave a comment below.