Surf Life Saving Australia partners with Samsung on AR app

Augmented reality used to help beachgoers identify hazards and rips

Samsung has teamed up with Surf Live Saving Australia on an augmented reality app aimed at improving beach safety.

The Pocket Patrol mobile app was developed in partnership with Leo Burnett Sydney and is designed to raise awareness of rips, the most dangerous hazard on Australian beaches. To do this, the app used AR to visualise identified hazards, such as rips, rocks and sandbacks, based on a combination of data uploaded by on-duty lifeguards and surf lifesavers as well GPS, Compass, Gyroscope and image recognition.

The app was piloted across beaches along the Sunshine Coast between 22 October and 13 November and used by more than 2000 consumers over that time. According to the companies, a further 3 million connected with the beach safety program through virtual reality, 360-degree film and online content.

Samsung said Pocket Patrol is part of its longstanding Launching People initiative, established in 2013 and focused on helping consumers utilise technology to create change.

“Each year, Samsung looks at local real-life issues affecting Australians and how technology can help support of solve the problem,” said Samsung corporate vice-president and CMO, Philip Newton. “Pocket Patrol allows Samsung to support SLSA by providing a tool to help them educate beachgoers regarding rips and hazards at the beach.”

A key consumer insight used in the making of the app was that 69 per cent of Australians can’t identify rip currents. The ultimate intention is to have this technology used across all Australian beaches.

SLSA coastal safety manager, Shane Daw, said the technology provided consumers with a first-hand look at what its lifesavers are seeing every day and greatly assisted in providing increased education and awareness.

Joint executive creative developers at Leo Burnett, Grant McAloon and Vince Lagana, said the key criteria for the app was something that was easy to use.

“It had to be as simple as holding up your smartphone to the water,”Lagana said. “Augmented reality became a natural fit to implement into the app. Pocket Patrol is the first time that this technology and GPS have been used together to display hidden dangers in such a manner.

“Making it happen meant pushing the technology to its current limits so we could achieve a level of accuracy satisfaction to both SLSA and Samsung.”

Check out more examples of augmented reality in marketing action here.

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