Can you tell us a little bit about Arti?

Arti is the first cloud-based AR platform. We designed it to democratize augmented reality – to make it easy, flexible, and affordable, so local broadcasters can deliver engaging stories with AR graphics from anywhere, without needing any special hardware or a big graphics team.

Production managers love the new flexibility that Arti provides and sales managers love that Arti creates a new line of revenue with AR sponsorships.

What makes Arti unique?

First, there’s no hardware. That means that Arti is exponentially less expensive than traditional AR systems, and that you can deliver AR graphics outside a traditional studio environment. We’ve had customers use Arti on-location during live events, in the studio, even outside in the snow. All you need is a laptop, a camera, and an internet connection.

Next, we’ve removed a lot of the complexity that traditionally accompanies AR so that producers, reporters, as well as graphics teams can use it. Basically, if you can use PowerPoint or GoogleSlides, you can use Arti. Instead of days or weeks of prep, you can go live with your AR graphics in minutes and easily control them live on-air in real-time using your cell phone, as this clip from CBS46 Atlanta demonstrates.

How do you see AR impacting the local media industry over the next year? 5 years?

I think we’ll continue to see AR become more prevalent in local media, both because the technology to create it is becoming more accessible, but also because audiences will come to expect it. Today’s viewers are used to seeing AR on their screens, with everything from Snapchat to mobile games to e-commerce, so broadcasts and streaming video content without AR will soon start looking flat and dated.

If a company wanted to get started in AR, where should it begin? First steps to make it happen? How does your company help with that?

It really starts with good storytelling; thinking through how you’ll use AR to tell a compelling story and engage your audience, not just throwing up a lot of flashy graphics because you can. For inspiration, you can check out this playlist with great clips from Arti customers using AR in their storytelling.

We’ve designed Arti to make it easy for anyone just getting started by providing multiple design themes and a number of built-in templates, such as bar/pie/line charts, player stat comparisons, various 3D objects, and more. You can also easily import 3D objects from any model marketplace and connect with real-time data sources, including social feeds, in just a few clicks. And, of course, our customer success team is always ready to help!

How has COVID impacted your business? AR as a whole in the industry?

Local media really rose to the occasion with COVID, both in their dedication to sharing vital health information with their communities, and how quickly they adapted to working remotely. Things that once seemed impossible simply became challenges that had to be overcome. It’s like that scene in Apollo 13 when the NASA scientists dump all the available parts on the table and just “work the problem.”

What we’re seeing is that with cloud-based platforms, remote production is becoming commonplace, and in many cases, a preferred way to work since you can be more nimble. And cloud-based platforms are proving themselves to be as effective as in-studio systems.

What are some great examples of local media companies using AR?

I think great examples are all about using AR to convey important information to viewers in a compelling way. As fellow LMA members may have read in this case study, the Data Reporter at eNCA in Johannesburg has been using AR to create very compelling stories about COVID, gas prices, politics, and more. He says that viewers have flocked to their social media sites to ask, “How did you do that?!”

When trying to help keep your audience safe, it’s vital to first get their attention, and AR is great for that. Recently, in segments focused on helping viewers prepare for the potentially very dangerous 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, CBS46 Atlanta used AR to visually compare this year’s storm projections vs. previous years.