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Buffalo-based Company Develops AR Experience for Highlighting the Post-pandemic Workspace

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the day-to-day lives of people across the world. A Buffalo startup company has come up with an augmented reality experience to help people gain familiarity with the new guidelines for entering buildings after the pandemic scenario concludes.

AR technology has been utilised across many domains to date and is becoming more useful in people’s lives. The experience will feature AR messages to instruct users regarding the safety measures for building entry whilst maintaining social distancing and hygiene norms.

Greg Norton, President, Twisted Rope, explained that they could enable visitors to receive information from strategically placed signage within a building, with their phones. The messages will be relayed onto them when before they enter the building, whilst they are within the building. According to Norton, the employees returning after the pandemic would all be adhering to social distancing the entire time they are in and around the building.

Twisted Rope is a design studio specialising in augmented reality development. Their recent accomplishments include AR versions of renowned public art displays across Buffalo. Sam Marrazzo, Chief Innovation Officer, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, got in touch with the Twisted Rope team recently. The company was approached to ascertain if it would be possible to create an AR experience for the expected reopening of the Ellicott St. Innovation Center. The Twisted Rope team were able to showcase a working prototype in response.

Speaking about that project, Norton said that the team accomplished the development remotely, came down to the office to conduct evaluations. He expressed the fact that his team could still operate and members could work together regardless of what is going on proved that they could take further steps to move towards how things normally were. Regarding the prospect of creating an AR solution for safe building entry following a pandemic, Norton remarked that the uncertain circumstances in the world today were motivation enough to embark on such a project. He emphasised that augmented reality was diversifying from its usual consumer products use cases.

According to Norton, AR technology could now easily be used for external locations too, meaning that it would be adequate for helping people maintain social distancing whenever and wherever necessary. He believes that AR technology can aid most buildings and businesses that eventually have to reopen. Gaining access to the AR features and messaging prompts is quite simple. All one needs to do is download the AReveryware application created by Twisted Rope. It is currently available on the Android and iOS app stores.

Taking the example of the Innovation Center, one can get an idea about how the application functions. It does not let a user enter the building without acknowledging the messages received through the AReveryware app. Users are required to step on a marker that launches the application on their smartphone and displays a message. The application offers an augmented reality experience that instructs users on how to adequately maintain social distancing at different places within the building.

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