Augmented reality in the U.S. is still in its infancy. In Thailand, however, AR may be rapidly approaching maturity. While the country has struggled to establish a reliable 3G mobile network, it has seen several innovative advances in mobile technology in recent years. Several businesses within the country have begun adopting AR technology. With massive budgets and indomitable ambition these businesses are the driving force behind AR in Thailand and may also serve as an example to the rest of the world as to how useful this new technology can be.
The Kasikorn Bank, a Thai financial institution providing a variety of services, is among the first big companies in Thailand to adopt the Layar mobile application. Layar is the world’s first mobile augmented reality web browser. Kasikorn is joined by AIS, a mobile operator in Thailand, and Sansiri, a property development firm, in its use of Layar.
Kasikorn’s and AIS’ use of Layar have been limited but both are finding success in leveraging the AR browser as a means to enhance customer experience. Sansiri, on the other hand, has had much more success in incorporating the application.
Sansiri introduced Layar to their clients in October of last year. Using the browser, clients could find information about the companies projects including what was being build, where and directions on how to get there. The browser attracted some 11,000 users according to company officials, most of who continue to use it today.
Despite the challenged associated with mobilizing Thailand, these companies have integrated a somewhat advanced technology into their business.