New app platform is augmenting reality

By Sam Kerwin / NM News Port

The ice cream company Dippin Dots had a problem. Because the company’s products are sold at small stands commissioned to other businesses across the country, Dippin Dots needed a way to measure customer loyalty. Albuquerque businessman Randy Asselin went to them with a solution.

Customers now can scan their Dippin Dots cup with the company’s mobile app to receive coupons and fun, exclusive content. This also allows Dippin Dots to gather information on who is buying their product, where, and how often. Dippin Dots was the first major company to use Asselin’s new app platform, Bubandu, to design their company app.

Now Asselin wants to offer the platform to all companies big and small.

Listen to our audio interview to learn more about how Bubandu incorporates augmented reality and what Asselin believes it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

“With augmented reality you can take a soda can and turn it into an elephant, and have that elephant have a conversation with you. In your hand you have an elephant so long as you are looking through the mobile device,” Asselin said.

Asselin started his first company in Albuquerque, manufacturing a new type of concession food container that fit over the tops of soda cups. The business is called RockTops and first sold at UNM concession stands.

While trying to come up with a way to label RockTops’ food trays, Asselin was introduced to a technology called augmented reality.

“Augmented reality is where you look at something through a mobile device and that thing turns into something else completely,” Asselin said.

It was that technology that eventually shaped Bubandu.

The app platform has been set up so app designers have an easy way to create new apps. Graphic designers can control the design process from beginning to end, creating  graphics-rich augmented realities.