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Heathrow’s new augmented reality app exceeds family use target

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Heathrow airport’s new augmented reality family travel app –  Around the World with Mr Adventure – has seen an impressive level of customer engagement, beating all expectations the airport had for its launch, the airport says.

Part of Heathrow’s campaign to reach beyond business travellers, the “family-focused” airport decided to embrace augmented reality as a way to engage adults and kids. With a large number of families jetting off on their holiday during last year’s school summer break, Heathrow was committed to enhancing their experience within the airport and ensure that even the tiniest travellers have the most enjoyable journey possible.

The free app allows children and parents to pose and take pictures with the characters, by scanning markers that are placed in each terminal, on their smartphones.

So far, the campaign revealed impressive engagement results, which superseded initial targets. More than 3,600 travellers downloaded the app across Android and IOS devices and spend almost 800 hours engaging with the app in its first month.

“We’re delighted that Heathrow has seen first-hand the value immersive technology like augmented reality can have on improving customer experience,” said Richard Corps, managing director and co-founder of Ads Reality.”

He continues: “Not only was this a fun initiative for passengers, but it now also arms Heathrow with useful insights for the future. We look forward to partnering again and showing what more can be done with augmented reality.”

A key objective of the campaign was that Ads Reality’s technology needed to highlight not only the frequency of downloads of the free app, but more importantly, how many markers in the airport were triggered by users, which terminal had the most interactions, and see how users shared the experiences on social media.

The results turned out to be exceptional, with the technology enabling all objectives to not only be met, but exceeded, leading to an improved experience and increased engagement with families travelling via Heathrow

Iona Harper, senior experience manager at Heathrow, adds: “We were pleased that the Mr. Adventure app was a hit with the families travelling with us this summer. By using exciting, innovative technology it allowed us to do something unique, which certainly provided hours of fun for our passengers.”

The campaign was so successful that Heathrow has recently won an award for the Most Effective Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Campaign at the Mobile Marketing Awards.

Heathrow is the second major UK airport to dabble in apps. Previously, Gatwick has launched a passenger-facing app, one of the several digital innovations that e-retailers can use to their advantage to target the airport’s travellers. 

Gatwick’s free app is aimed more at practicality than fun, offering personalised flight alerts, real-time queue updates for check-in and security, intuitive navigation using beacon technology and shopping, restaurant and airport offers instantly redeemable just with a touch of a button.

Picture credit: Tony Hisgett, Commons Wikipedia

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