Frost & Sullivan is in its 50th year in business with a global research organization of 1,800 analysts and consultants who monitor more than 300 industries and 250,000 companies. The company's research philosophy originates with the CEO's 360-Degree Perspective™, which serves as the foundation of its TEAM Research™ methodology. This unique approach enables us to determine how best-in-class companies worldwide manage growth, innovation and leadership. Based on the findings of this Best Practices research, Frost & Sullivan is proud to present the 2011 Global New Product Innovation Award in Augmented Reality Applications to CrowdOptic.
The Smartphone and Connected Tablet markets are experiencing rapid growth, and quickly increasing their importance over less-capable feature phones. The additional capabilities found with smartphones and tablets have not only made them a success with end-users, but with application providers as well, giving rise to new business opportunities through unique and useful mobile applications. This has included hundreds of thousands of applications ranging from a simple productivity suite to GPS enabled directions and maps. Thus, the Mobile Application market has exploded with both innovative and redundant offerings, many of which may not offer significant value to their target audience over their competition.
Due to this, the burden has been placed on application developers to create a significant value in their applications for both carriers and end-users alike. This has become difficult due to the sheer number of available applications, which span a large number of use-cases. Frost & Sullivan believes that companies like CrowdOptic, who have a powerful technology and offer significant value to their customers, will see the highest-level adoption. CrowdOptic offers a unique augmented reality application, which brings convenient, dynamic information to end-users and valuable analytical data to organizations.
For the New Product Innovation Award, the following criteria were used to benchmark CrowdOptic's performance against key competitors:
To support its evaluation of best practices across multiple business performance categories, Frost & Sullivan employs a customized Decision Support Matrix (DSM). The DSM is an analytical tool that compares companies' performance relative to each other with an integration of quantitative and qualitative metrics. The DSM features criteria unique to each Award category and ranks importance by assigning weights to each criterion. The relative weighting reflects current market conditions and illustrates the associated importance of each criterion according to Frost & Sullivan. Fundamentally, each DSM is distinct for each market and Award category. The DSM allows our research and consulting teams to objectively analyze each company's performance on each criterion relative to its top competitors and assign performance ratings on that basis. The DSM follows a 10-point scale that allows for nuances in performance evaluation; ratings guidelines are shown in Chart 2.
This exercise encompasses all criteria, leading to a weighted average ranking of each company. Researchers can then easily identify the company with the highest ranking. As a final step, the research team confirms the veracity of the model by ensuring that small changes to the ratings for a specific criterion do not lead to a significant change in the overall relative rankings of the companies.
The Decision Support Matrix, shown in Chart 4, illustrates the relative importance of each criterion for the New Product Innovation Award and the ratings for each company under evaluation. To remain unbiased while also protecting the interests of the other organizations reviewed, we have chosen to refer to the other key players as Competitor 1 and Competitor 2.
CrowdOptic's augmented reality application offers end-users real-time data for a variety of events that they may be attending. This solution is capable of actively displaying information on athletes, artists, and other performers, and even vehicles, as well as sponsored data from the venue, which they are attending. End-users will not have to type in the names or other identification information for the performers and athletes, as CrowdOptic employs a number of technologies and methods, combined with their own databases, to determine 'who is who' and 'what is what' at an event. This can be a great aid, as end-users will not need to know who they are looking at initially, as the software will provide all of the necessary data for them, eliminating the need to research or guess. This can drastically cut down on time and effort spent by the end-user, which is particularly important during a large event, where the user may not want to divide their attention. This can in turn dramatically improve the live event-going experience for the end user.
Multiple technologies and techniques allow CrowdOptic's augmented reality application to function expeditiously and reliably in a variety of situations. Location data is typically formulated using triangulation, allowing the software to locate and dynamically track individuals. These coordinates, local time of day, and other factors are then sent to a server, which identifies the object/person being viewed by the end-user. Data tags can then be added to the object or individual, which actively follow them through the device's camera, displaying up to date information as the end-user views it. Through this technology, a smartphone can be used as an active tool for displaying statistics and marketing information/promotions, which dynamically changes along with the event/game. This level of interaction has the potential to become a highly desired component of the user's viewing experience at a variety of events.
CrowdOptic's solution has been available for the Apple iPhone platform for only a few months, although they already plan to expand this support to include Android and BlackBerry by the end of 2011. This will help CrowdOptic to vastly increase their customer reach and improve the overall effectiveness of their solution.
In addition to the benefits CrowdOptic is able to bring to end-users, they also provide significant value and opportunity to venue and facility owners. Marketing opportunities are extremely beneficial in many scenarios, allowing for special deals, discounts, coupons, and other marketing information to be actively streamed to the end-user's device. This can expand the user experience, and strengthen the venue's marketing capabilities greatly, creating a closer relationship between the location and the attendee. This also, further adds a level of interactivity for the end-user, with a dynamic marketing scenario, which can be interfaced with, actively, over the user's cellular broadband connection. This maximizes the convenience of the solution with a seamless and unobtrusive approach that is instrumental for effective marketing.
In addition to marketing, valuable analytical data can be gathered from users that are actively using CrowdOptic's application. This information can then be amalgamated to determine important statistics about user behavior and choices at specific shows and events. Analytical data can help facility owner/operators plan for future events, better prepare for similar events, better market to individuals at their events, and strategically address any unmet needs from previous events. Thus, CrowdOptic's solution can serve as a powerful tool to improve the effectiveness for countless aspects of the end-user experience and improve attendee satisfaction as well as the likelihood that they will return for another event.
CrowdOptic's solution adds value to the end-user experience for any supported smart device, through the convenient delivery of information, which is by nature relevant to the user. This information is delivered to the user quickly and maintained dynamically, while at an event, giving them timely, accurate, and useful information that can enhance their viewing experience and add a level of interactivity to keep them engaged. Thus, augmented reality can serve as an add-on component to many events, which maximizes the user's satisfaction and knowledge throughout an event.
In addition to a more positive and informative experience for the user, this solution requires very little manual input, and is abundantly simple to use. Typically, the user only needs to point a smartphone to use the application. This essentially enables the user to operate the application more efficiently, and frees them to focus on the event that they are using the application at (as opposed to focusing on operating a complex program). This creates an ideal situation where the attendee's attention is directed towards the event, while the device actively searches and delivers relevant data to improve the experience with minimal effort from the user.
Frost & Sullivan's market data suggests that CrowdOptic's solution is poised to gain significant adoption in the Mobile market, despite the growing number of augmented reality and other mobile applications available. Despite the growing competition, many of these applications fail to differentiate themselves, leaving potential for unique applications to gain acceptance in the Mobile market. As augmented reality applications currently comprise only a small portion of the whole Mobile Application market, this segment of the market has comparatively low risk and higher likelihood for adoption. This is particularly true for organizations like CrowdOptic, which offer a unique technology within the Augmented Reality market, which is both practical and appealing for end-users.
CrowdOptic's unique augmented reality technology has significant potential to gain adoption among end-users due to its utility and convenient functionality. This technology is able to enhance the overall experience for end-users during a variety of events with relevant information that is both dynamic and insightful. This will also help to increase support by venue and facility owners, allowing them to enhance their own capabilities by utilizing the strategic marketing and analytical capabilities of the application. Due to this, Frost & Sullivan anticipates that CrowdOptic has the potential to become a major player in the Mobile Application market. Based on Frost & Sullivan's independent analysis of the Global Augmented Reality Applications market, CrowdOptic is being recognized with the 2011 New Product Innovation Award.
The CEO 360-Degree Perspective™ model provides a clear illustration of the complex business universe in which CEOs and their management teams live today. It represents the foundation of Frost & Sullivan's global research organization and provides the basis on which companies can gain a visionary and strategic understanding of the market. The CEO 360-Degree Perspective™ is also a “must-have” requirement for the identification and analysis of best-practice performance by industry leaders.
The CEO 360-Degree Perspective™ model enables our clients to gain a comprehensive, action-oriented understanding of market evolution and its implications for their companies' growth strategies. As illustrated in Chart 5 below, the following six-step process outlines how our researchers and consultants embed the CEO 360-Degree Perspective™ into their analyses and recommendations.
Frost & Sullivan's TEAM Research methodology represents the analytical rigor of our research process. It offers a 360-Degree view of industry challenges, trends, and issues by integrating all seven of Frost & Sullivan's research methodologies. Our experience has shown over the years that companies too often make important growth decisions based on a narrow understanding of their environment, leading to errors of both omission and commission. Frost & Sullivan contends that successful growth strategies are founded on a thorough understanding of market, technical, economic, financial, customer, best practices, and demographic analyses. In that vein, the letters T, E, A and M reflect our core technical, economic, applied (financial and best practices) and market analyses. The integration of these research disciplines into the TEAM Research methodology provides an evaluation platform for benchmarking industry players and for creating high-potential growth strategies for our clients.
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