SpiresjpgWhen the University at which she worked offered a round of voluntary redundancies, Amber Standley jumped at the chance to start her own business.

She has completed an augmented reality exhibition for a joint initiative between AusIndustry, the ACT Government and virtual business accelerator Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, to develop a traveling exhibition that showcases some of Australia's most innovative entrepreneurs.

Building on her skills as a designer, creative director and project manager and her study for a Masters in Digital Design, Amber launched APositive, a design company focused on unique, innovative, and interactive communication solutions.


 "The launch of 'Think. Create. Innovate ACT', is a highlight for me" she said.

"I designed, directed, project managed and produced the job in just 5 weeks.

"The exhibition is made up of ten custom designed, glowing spires. Each contains a removable portrait of an entrepreneur. When you download the free app and hover your device's camera over the portrait, a 'hologram' of a mini entrepreneur pops up and tells you about their secrets to success," she added.

For those who are unfamiliar with augmented reality (AR), it is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are 'augmented' (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

"One of the strengths of this AR exhibition is its extremely long shelf life. The portraits can be swapped around to suit the audience and more entrepreneurs can be added later. In addition to this, the digital content of the portraits can be updated instantly using the cloud," commented Amber.

"AR appeals to technical and non-technical audiences. It can be extremely engaging and create massive social buzz," she added.

According to Amber, AR applications can be a really effective marketing tool, such as:

  • Augmented Reality Road shows – 3D models and video's overlayed on banners to demonstrate products
  • Augmented Reality Advertisements – helping to maximise the effectiveness of even small ads in magazines, newspapers and catalogues by adding additional content such as an engaging video
  • Locational AR – Placing a to-scale 3D model at a location using GPS coordinates, for example APositive made a baby SkyWhale to celebrate Canberra's centenary using geo-location. It appeared floating alongside its mother when she touched down at the University of Canberra Open Day .
  • Augmented Business collateral – Gets maximum value out of your business stationary by adding videos and tap through links to your website


According to Amber the scope of AR is endless. She believes to get the most out of AR, businesses need to first define the end goal. AR is a tool and like any tool its application is everything.

"Content is still king, there are a lot of gimmicky AR experiences that rely too heavily on the wow factor of the technology and as a result the intended message is lost," she cautions.

"It's important to exercise a level of restraint. Make sure you can justify each element of the AR experience by weighing it up against your businesses marketing needs and goals," she concluded.


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit www.lighthouseinnovation.com.au for more information.