Blippar: An App Bridging the Digital Divide

The next sliced bread tech must-have may have arrived. The engaging Blippar is the very first image-recognition smartphone app. Simply “blipp” by aiming your smartphone camera at an object, such as a newspaper or an item’s logo, and the free app will recognize the product label and then access related content such as recipes or games. Blippar brings the world around you to life, from magazines to grocery store products, using the new and exciting augmented reality.

“(It’s) similar to how you ‘Google’, ‘Tweet’, ‘Shazam’, or ‘Like’ something,” Lisa Hu, Blippar’s vice president of business development for the U.S., said to Xconomy. “Whether it is The New York Times, a Starbucks coffee, or Vogue magazine to pull that rich content.”

Through Blippar, your camera becomes an instantaneous lens that allows you to unlock the world around you, receiving exclusive content. Put your phone in blippar mode and fill the screen with the image and it will jump to life with links to webpages, coupons, interactive games, offers or other surprises. Users may also browse the in-app catalog, which is expanding daily and features brand such as Nestle, Xbox, Best Buy, Samsung and Domino’s.

Launched in 2011 in the United Kingdom, Blippar is marching around the globe throughout this year. The company hopes to partner with Google Glass to increase its appeal.

“It’s about utilizing that tech to be a consumer-facing platform,” Hu said.

Already, Blippar has struck gold with roughly 2.4 million people using the app. The company has released the geotagging feature to provide blipps based on users’ location, and more features are on their way.

“We know the behavior of phones though we don’t know the people,” Hu said. “Depending on the pattern of what people are blipping, it’s going to help trigger customized content.”

Three-dimensional visual recognition is also in the works, said Hu, in which users could blipp an image of say a dog or a specific person.

If whatever you are blipping is not in the app’s system, the company still keeps track of your attempt in order to approach new brands and expand its product reach. “We can take that information and say ‘thousands of people want content from you,’” Hu said.

Blippar provides an easy way for marketers to get into the brain of consumers and discover what they truly want in detail. “We want to package everything from a data perspective so it ultimately helps to convert better in [return on investment],” Hu said.

To date, the app has been put to use to do everything from advertise Justin Bieber’s new album to sell pizza from Domino’s and to promote the magazine ShortList. The company’s first effort was the candy corporation Cadbury: Take an image of a chocolate bar and your smartphone would return a “Quack Smack” game.

For more information or to download the app for free, visit

Tagged in: tech, app, application, radar, technology,


Photo Courtesy of

Related Articles