AR experience at Proximus: from project to reality
The article “An innovative return to the office for Proximus” discussed the creation of an innovative AR experience to celebrate the return to the office of the employees of the Belgian telecommunications leader. After the first steps of the project, it is time to look at the implementation and feedback of this experience.
Final preparations before the launch of the augmented reality project
Riplee worked with Proximus to develop an innovative experience that celebrates employees’ return to the office after the health crisis and widespread teleworking. Through co-creation and collective intelligence, we came up with an original concept of augmented reality avatars of Proximus CEO Guillaume Boutin and Red Devils coach Roberto Martinez. The first article about this project ended with the development phase, but this was far from being the last step. After the development of the experience came the time for execution: it is this phase that is at the heart of this article.
In order to prepare for the deployment, we needed to know where the experiment would be carried out. Brussels, Bruges, Namur… In order for as many Proximus employees as possible to benefit from the AR avatars of Guillaume Boutin and Roberto Martinez, the experiment was set up in the four corners of Belgium, in all Proximus offices. Each office, therefore, had to be equipped with markers to access the experience. But before installing the markers, it was necessary to ensure that the layout and size of the markers were well-calibrated to ensure that the experiment ran smoothly. The markers had to remain visible at all times to maintain the placement of the avatars, even when users were taking pictures with them. Alongside the development of the markers, final adjustments were made to the AR avatars to stabilise them in the image and ensure that the experience would run smoothly on both iOS and Android.
Welcome back !
From 1 October 2021, employees were able to discover the innovative return to the office prepared by Proximus. When they arrived at the office, everyone saw welcome roll-ups and markers on the floor. By scanning the QR code, employees were taken to the gateway site where they could choose their language preference before launching the experiment and being surprised to see the avatars of Guillaume Boutin and Roberto Martinez positioned on the heart-shaped visual designed by Proximus for the return to the office. Curious readers who would like to get a glimpse of this original return can watch the video showing the experiment.
The experiment was accessible from the lobbies of the buildings, but also from the different office floors. It lasted two months so that everyone could see the avatars several times and take pictures with them.
Now that the project has been completed, it is time to take a final look. The testimonies collected show that the experience was very much appreciated by Proximus staff. Many did not expect to see Roberto Martinez addressing them at the office alongside their CEO! Employees felt that the AR avatars were perfectly in line with Proximus’ ambitions to position itself as a digital pioneer. In addition, they felt that the experience was very appropriate for celebrating their return, as it was perfect for group photos with their team and colleagues. Unexpected, entertaining and innovative: the avatars of Guillaume Boutin and Roberto Martinez fulfilled the wishes of the Proximus teams involved in the project and the rest of the staff.
Unexpected, entertaining and innovative (...)
So it was an experiment that hit the mark and also attracted attention beyond Proximus. One employee shared his photo with the AR avatars on LinkedIn and reached over 1,000 people with his post! To thank him for bringing Proximus’ ambitions to so many people, the company made this dream come true by offering him and his team the chance to attend a Red Devils training session. 30 other lucky people were also able to get a ticket to see a national team match thanks to the competition set up as a continuation of the AR experience. This is a great way to make this experience even more powerful by making it an opportunity to celebrate being together again in the office, but also on a national scale.
The avatars of Guillaume Boutin and Roberto Martinez have now disappeared from the Proximus offices, but the experience and the whole process that led to it are still very much in the minds of people. This AR application case has given rise to other ideas for using this technology in a professional context. As Proximus has just adopted a hybrid working model combining teleworking and on-site work, AR could, for example, be an innovative and fun way of strengthening the link between employees within the same office, but also between employees in all Proximus offices in Belgium. New opportunities are therefore opening up, especially as the ideation session at the start of this project gave rise to many other ideas, some of which are already being explored.