20 August 2019
Roy Lo and Coby Or turned an idea on AR wedding cards into a successful digital design services business. Photo: HKEJ
Roy Lo and Coby Or turned an idea on AR wedding cards into a successful digital design services business. Photo: HKEJ

How a design studio built its future through AR wedding cards

Add a dash of Augmented Reality (AR) tech to craft super-cool wedding cards!

Roy Lo and Coby Or, co-founders of the Hong Kong startup Creote Studio, came up with this interesting idea when preparing their wedding dinner invite three years ago.

As the WOW factor drew a lot of interest from the guests, the duo quit their jobs and turned their passion into a digital design services business.

The AR wedding card looks just the same as any other conventional wedding card. But when the guests receive it, they can scan it using mobile apps, and all the information on the card comes alive in the form of 3D models.

Clients can also add images of the wedding couple in the 3D model in the display.

“We received a lot of interest and enquiries from our friends and relatives. There was no similar product in the market back then; hence, we saw a business opportunity,” recalled Lo.

The duo started by taking orders for AR cards for weddings, working late into the night at home. As the business grew and gained popularity, the couple decided to quit their regular daytime jobs and start their own company.

Both of them had no background in AR technology. Before starting the business, Or had been working for a sales and marketing outfit, while Lo was a business analyst with basic knowledge of computer programming.

Inspired by AR technology applications, they spent a few months to learn apps design on their own by taking online courses.

After founding Creote Studio, they have offered their services to over 100 wedding couples, with about 20 3D-animated scenarios designed for wedding cards.

Wedding-related business currently accounts for about 10 percent of the firm’s overall revenue, as it has expanded its focus to serve corporate clients, providing AR and VR (virtual reality) solutions to more than 50 enterprises including Hang Lung Properties and HP.

Some Hong Kong government entities are also on the client list.

Last summer, Pokemon Go mobile game took the world by storm, serving as an introduction for AR technology to the local market. But beyond gaming, local enterprises are yet to recognize the full potential for application of this technology for commercial purposes, according to Lo and Or.

“We need more people and companies joining this sector to expand the market,” says Lo, who believes AR tech has the potential to transcend into the larger space of special education and staff training.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 13

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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