Interview with Skignz, Augmented Reality Start-up, and Winner of Pitch@IGNITE

Posted by Victoria Arrington | 19-Jun-2015 11:30:00

On May 12th, 2015, Nimbus Ninety hosted our first-ever Pitch@IGNITE session. After 5 promising start-ups pitched their ideas, the judges unanimously voted for Skignz to be the ultimate winner.

To learn more about Skignz, where they come from, and where they are going, I conducted an interviewed with Skignz Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Si Brown.


Tell us about Skignz, and what you do, in your own words.

Skignz is essentially an augmented reality platform, which uses geo-location to place digital signs in the sky that you view through your mobile handset, via a Geo-located Augmented Reality System. Using the free viewer app you'll see the Skignz placed in the real world, using your device's GPS location to work out where they are. Groups of Skignz and trigger points can even be arranged indoors for enhanced help and navigation.

What gave you the idea for Skignz?

It started in 2012 - myself and my business partner, Gary Baker, began talking about augmented reality, and where the next trends were coming from, and he was looking at how placing things in public spaces, but using geolocation as the trigger. We thought about how this could work – something that not only brands could use to generate content, but users too. In beta testing, the demand and popularity exploded far beyond demand. After June, we look to introduce a new look and feel – we aim to take Skignz to the highest level.

There is no 3rd party software – it is all natively programmed to ensure that everything is for the benefit of the user. We always wanted it to benefit people, so it would become a verb – as in “Skignz-ing something”. We try to not only think only about current issues, but what is new, and what is coming. We want people to not only look at their phones, like they do now, but to also look through it – towards a change in behaviour.

Who can benefit from Skignz?

Skignz can apply to anyone, from private individuals trying to stay in touch in a large venue, to the large brands that can sponsor these messages. Those working in enterprise, in particular those working off of massive business campuses that need to keep track on the goings-on. We focus on 3 key areas: brand activation and experience, visualising searches with geo-location based partner companies - and the ability to place one-to-one virtual scale models in the real world.

In the future, Skignz is going global with offices in the UK, China, and in the United States, to cater to the global brands which we work with on brand activation and brand experience, and/or enriching the customer journey. This is particularly good for driving emotive and impulsive buying of products through the app.

Who have you worked with already?

We have worked with MGM, Diageo, Contagious Magazine, and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in the USA.

Why did you decide to apply for Pitch@IGNITE, and how has Pitch@IGNITE benefited you?

Ad:tech London contacted Ken Valledy of Tech T2B (Tech2Brand), whom we have worked with in the past, and they put us forward. As a result of our Pitch@IGNITE session, C-level executives from 7 major UK brands have been in contact about working with us, which has been amazing.

How do you think Skignz will be useful for the Nimbus Ninety community?

We hope to prove that using our actual technology will reinvigorate brands –  For instance, for logistics, locating a parcel will be transformed, or a stranded driver in a broken down vehicle will easily be found by anyone trying to assist them. We aim for it to be a helpful visual tool.

How do you see the future of Skignz?

In the next 12 months, we want to showcase all the different projects we’ve done this year, to get people used to this new technology, along with further expansion in the US and China - we look for skignz to be the default browser for augmented reality.

Thank you once again to Skignz – we very much look forward to seeing all they have in store in the future.

Skignz will be returning to IGNITE in November 2015 at Vinopolis, to update the Nimbus Ninety Community on their new developments, and to hear how they are doing. To keep up with Skignz in the meantime, be sure to follow them on their website, on their blog, and on Twitter.

Also, we would like to once again thank the Pitch@IGNITE Judging Panel:

To apply to attend IGNITE November 2015, and to hear from Skignz in person, please click here.

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