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Christchurch firm sells AR tech to US retail marketing giant

02 Oct 2019
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Christchurch software development firm Smudge has sold a lucrative slice of its augmented reality (AR) technology to an American firm called InContext Solutions.

InContext Solutions will buy the underlying technology for Staccar, which is an app that helps retailers and restaurateurs visualise and customise in-store merchandise elements such as drinks and signage before implementing them.

"Gone are the days of having to imagine what new elements might look like in a retail space. Now, retailers can see it for themselves in a totally immersive and realistic way,” comments Smudge managing director Reuben Bijl.

“InContext Solutions is a world-leading provider of 3D retail simulation software, so to have them buy Staccar is a real show-of-faith and testament to the work we’re doing right here in Christchurch,” adds Smudge co-founder Toby Vincent.

Smudge and InContext Solutions will collaborate on ways to develop Staccar.

“The retail space is grasping for new and innovative business solutions, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of leveraging Augmented Reality capabilities for brands to better visualise merchandising ideas with their retailers. It’s like in-the-moment photoshopping,” says InContext Solutions vice president of product management, Jenkin Lee.

“It takes all of 15 seconds for a field sales rep to remove all guesswork and show a retail manager what a new merchandising setup could look like.”

Smudge says that Staccar is able to improve the sell-in process for field sales representative, execution managers and visual merchandisers by showing in-store solutions with customers before they commit.

“Augmented reality offers tremendous potential to help businesses make better decisions, and Staccar is a perfect example of that,” continues Bijl.

“Beyond live visualisation, AR can be used for education, entertainment, communication and collaboration, among many other things.”

He adds that the possibilities are endless, and helping businesses worldwide to solve problems through technology is the kind of work that Smudge loves to do.

“By building better tools in the virtual world, we can help them make better decisions in the real world.”

“We’re proud of what our team has built and incredibly excited to continue working with InContext Solutions to help take this technology to the next level,” concludes Vincent.

Smudge empowers businesses with mobile technology. Smudge has more than 10 years’ experience of building transformational software solutions for regional and international FMCG brands, including Coca-Cola.

InContext Solutions offers 3D simulation software for retail. Our virtual simulation platform, ShopperMX, enables brands and retailers to create better shopping experiences through its ability to digitally prototype, validate with real shoppers, and activate through field enablement applications within the context of a retail store environment.