Ironic business card becomes accidental viral

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AR Business Card

Well, it’s been an interesting week to say the least. Although I have physically handed my new business card to only a handful of people it has reached enough to fill Wembly Stadium almost three times over.

About 7 weeks ago, in my spare time I created an Augmented Reality business card and posted it on my blog and Vimeo. I had a small initial rush of a couple of thousand views and then it quietened down. Standard story.

Then just a week ago things went absolutely mental. In the last 7 days I’ve had 45,000 hits on my blog and a quarter of a million views of my Video. I’ve being Tweeted something silly and blogged by such giants as Engadget, Popular Science, Gizmodo, Notcot and many others.

As a result, I’ve been approached by lots of companies and individuals expressing an interest in working with me on Augmented Reality projects. I’ve had parties approach me for interviews, articles, tutorials and to be involved in books and conferences. I’m passing the big projects onto my digital agency Skive and keeping the smaller ones for myself. I’m currently in the process of setting up a limited company so I can deal with all these projects on a professional basis.

It was fascinating to see how interest in this piece of work evolved over several days. There was an absolute digital ripple effect. It seems that Twitter played a huge part in driving the success throughout. It’s great to see, first hand, social media acting as a vehicle for non-commercial work to gain such a huge audience in a small space of time. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who Tweeted, blogged, emailed, commented and generally passed my work on to others.

So where to from here? I will be continuing to experiment using AR but in addition to investigating it at home I will be doing some more R&D at work. My aim is to set up a new ‘experiential’ department or possibly even a sister company focussing on AR, Multitouch and installation work at Skive.

So who wants an AR application? Form an orderly queue…

19 Responses to “Ironic business card becomes accidental viral”


  1. 1 Andrej July 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    You end in my rss reader too. It is amazing what you can do with paper and screen : )

  2. 2 sim July 27, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Hey, what you did is totally revolutionary. It sparks lots of idea on the market. The video is not just a viral, its an inspiration. Great job and looking forward to your next work.

  3. 3 jamesalliban July 27, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Thanks Sim. What a great start to the day. I like your work by the way. Very nice.

  4. 4 Burton July 30, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Congrats on your card. I have been working on an AR business card since middle of May, but I definitely let a good idea (and publicity) slip through my hands in not executing fast enough.

    I definitely can say you made a great decision in not messing with skeletal animations. It’s been a tremendous pain getting DAE files exported from Maya with all of the animation information intact.

    Anyways, kudos, and I’ll make sure to share mine when it gets done. Sucks when you let life and other crap get in the way and you’re on the outside looking in. I share this idea with colleagues in January and sat on it,:\

    Lesson learned: someone else has already has the same good idea as you & you’ll only be a copycat if you don’t get to the finish line first

  5. 5 jamesalliban July 31, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Thanks very much Burton although I wasn’t the first person to make an AR business card. I had seen several before.

  6. 6 Burton July 31, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I had seen a few before myself, but in my opinion, none of them were done in such a professional manner.

    I guess I always looked at them in a different classification. Perhaps I haven’t seen the same ones.

  7. 7 Lynn August 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    james! look at you… your bringin’ down the house man! so shine, shine…Enjoy! I just did a post on your art and linked my readers to your blog. 45,000 hits on the blog in a week? geez..i can only wish..

  8. 8 jamesalliban August 5, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Lynn. Yeah it’s been an exciting few weeks. Thanks very much for blogging me btw.

  9. 9 Lynn August 12, 2009 at 6:14 am

    i am just shocked that you arent getting more comments on this post….and your work in general…

  10. 10 Tim Heard August 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Count me among the millions. I have been trying to come up with a novel approach to getting my name out to potential clients, and ran across your video.

    Congrats on the success of your video. Sounds like you have already managed to convert it into real income! Way to go!


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