Press Release

Tech for good: How Augmented Reality can make the world a better place

Salzburg, AUSTRIA – December 21, 2020 – The British street newspaper “The Big Issue” used Augmented Reality (AR) with the app ‘GenARate’ from Konica Minolta to bring stories to life. For this initiative, Konica Minolta has recently been rewarded with the Tech-for-Good Award 2020. To create awareness of plastic pollution in the sea, the haircare brand “Herbal Essences” also chose an AR app to address the issue in a gamified way. Both AR-apps have one thing in common: They are powered by Wikitude, the leading independent AR-software pioneer. How can Augmented Reality help make the world a better place?

Award: AR app brings stories to life – and gets awarded
For six years, the “Tech-for-Good Award” has been recognizing organizations that aim to benefit society by bringing more sustainability and justice into this world by using the means of technology.

The British street newspaper “The Big Issue” utilized Augmented Reality (AR) with the app ‘GenARate’ by Konica Minolta to bring stories to life. For this initiative, Konica Minolta has recently been rewarded with the Tech-for-Good Award 2020. Using the GenARate app, readers could transform images into videos to see, for instance, a newspaper vendor telling his story in his own words. Topics like homelessness become not only visible but also tangible.

“Sometimes engaging with a piece of print is not as powerful as hearing a person talk,” confirms Oliver Waddington Ball, Head of Custom Content & Partnerships at The Big Issue.

Augmented Reality is a powerful storytelling tool
“The number of companies that not only want to be economically successful, but also want to leave a sustainable footprint is increasing,” says Martin Herdina, CEO of Wikitude: “Augmented Reality can be a powerful storytelling tool for corporate communication. It helps to move to a new level of communication and thus draw people’s attention to important social problems. With that we do not only reach the head, but also the heart. Issues such as poverty or environmental pollution get under your skin immediately.”

Your behavior can change something
Annually 8 tons of plastic waste pollutes rivers, lakes, and seas. Although we know this, it is hard for us to change our behavior. The haircare brand Herbal Essences draws attention to this problem by utilizing AR. “By engaging the user with an interactive game mechanic, the experience demonstrated in a fun and intuitive way the brand’s commitment to using downcycled materials for their packaging,” says Peter Oberdorfer from agency Tactic that launched this campaign. Each scan triggers an AR experience that allows users to learn more about the story behind the company’s game-changing bottles made out of plastics picked up from some of the world’s dirtiest beaches.
A playful element lets the user sink more and more into plastic waste on a virtual 3D beach. By swiping the mountain of rubbish and the oppressive feeling become smaller at the same time.

The message: Your behavior can change something.

About Wikitude:
Wikitude® is an augmented reality (AR) pioneer and leader in the Computer Vision and Spatial Computing industries with its AR technology optimized for smartphones, tablets, and smart glasses. Powering over 1 billion app installations, Wikitude is trusted by enterprises, agencies, and developers in more than 180 countries as the go-to AR technology partner for innovation and business solutions. For more information, visit or find Wikitude on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Learn more about The Big Issue & the AR special here and at their website. Check out the Konica Minolta Press Release for the Konica MinoltaTech for Good Award and watch the video (1:15) about the app.

Download all images in higher resolution here.