Imagine you are a consumer walking in a garden center and see a plant. You are wondering how to care for it, and more importantly if this plant will fit into your garden design. What would be nicer than having just one app showing it all by only scanning the tag?
"The idea around the app is to give growers the power to control customer experience with their plants", explains Tyler Brown of US label and tag manufacturer Hip Labels. At Cultivate'19, he was presenting the augmented reality app Arilyn which enables growers to go beyond the info that they put on the tag. "Scanning the tag via the app gives the end consumer not only access to accurate care information and videos, but also - the most popular part of the app - place the plant in their own landscape".
Tyler Brown with Hip Labels and Tom Kegley with Kegley Communication at Cultivate '19 in Columbus (OH), USA.
In a world where “experts” can upload an article or video about how to take care of a plant, it is important that a grower gives their customers the most accurate information possible, Brown explains. As labels and tags only have limited availability to share information, Hip Labels decided to go the extra mile to enable their growers to share as much and accurate information to their consumers. They partnered with the Augmented Reality (AR) app Arilyn and they got the license to use it in the horticulture industry in North America.
How does it work?
In the Arilyn app, the grower can upload a standard video about how to plant, what to plant, how to prune or fertilize and insert buttons inside the video to take you to a specific page. "These buttons could be linked to anything online including but not limited to availability pages, a where to find the plant, care information page. Also, these buttons are great ways to direct the end consumer to see relevant information when they need it and keep them away from self-proclaimed experts that are all over the internet." The only thing the consumer has to do is download the Arilyn app.
Specific information - based on location
According to Brown, a key aspect of the app is the location service. "The app knows the geographic area of the user (the end consumer) and the grower can, therefore, feed different information to their customers, based on their location. Growers send the same plant across many different zones and being able to customize information further than what is on the plant tag."
Fit the plant in your landscape
Besides providing all kind of (specific) information in different ways, the app can do more and this is where Augmented Reality (AR) comes in - where the real world is merged to the digital world. "It is the most popular part of the app and is called the playground. Located in the bottom right-hand corner of the app, it allows the grower to show end consumer their plants. It could be new introductions or excess material that you want to push and make the end consumer know that it is available. The end consumers can go pick a plant and place it in a landscape. This gives consumers the ability to see what a plant will look like in their landscape before they make the purchase."
According to Brown, overall the app has been received well in the industry. "Growers are most excited about the ability to digitally create a plant and allow end consumers to place it in their landscape before they make a purchase. Growers are also very interested in controlling the customer experience and customizing care based on geographic location."