- European delivery company Hermes plans to add augmented reality (AR) video messaging to its packaging that lets customers pre-record a personal message that recipients can activate with a smartphone. The Hermes Send app for iOS works with a 2D barcode on shipping labels that can be scanned to view the AR video message atop the parcel, Mobile Marketing Magazine reported.
- The company also added an app feature that lets customers accurately measure what size box to use for shipping through a smartphone camera. The app uses AR to overlay a digital image of a box on a parcel, replacing the need for a physical tape measure, Hermes executives said in a company blog post.
- Hermes will add the Hermes Play feature to its app for Android or iPhone devices later this year. The company will later offer the feature to retail customers, the executives said.
Hermes is embracing AR technology in several ways to enhance the customer experience of sending and receiving parcels. The measurement tool can serve as an effective time-saver, considering that consumers are more likely to carry a smartphone than a tape measure wherever they go. Hermes developed the AR tool for iPhones using Apple's ARKit, but hasn't yet created an Android version because Google's ARCore software development kit (SDK) is only available on a limited number of phones, per company executives.
Incorporating video messaging through scanning a physical barcode with a smartphone demonstrates a creative way to add thoughtful value to its products and services along with an element of personalization. The feature that lets recipients view a video message upon receiving the package could encourage more people to use the company's shipping services over alternatives.
Hermes is among the companies weaving AR technology into packaging. This month, 1-800-Flowers let iOS users send valentine-themed virtual messages to friends and family using its mobile app. The new tech also used Apple's ARKit software development kit. Subscription service FabFitFun in 2017 unveiled a mobile app that used AR to enliven the unboxing ritual.
Spirits brands have also become major users of AR technology to add unique experiences to their packaging. Shackleton Whisky, Jägermeister, Pernod Ricard's Glenlivet, Rémy Martin, Patrón tequila and Diageo's Bulleit Bourbon have developed interactive smartphone campaigns that aim to prolong brand exposure and more deeply engage customers through mobile AR tech.