- Awards include “Best BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) Connected App” at the 2011 BlackBerry EMEA Innovation Awards and “Most Addictive Social App using BBM” (EMEA category) at the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Challenge in San Francisco
- Enjoys a close relationship with the Research In Motion® (RIM®) development team
- Considers BBM integration to be key differentiator for the BlackBerry version of the Wikitude® platform
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Wikitude GmbH
In the world of mobile development, there are few emerging software possibilities as exciting as Augmented Reality (AR). Wikitude GmbH, (Wikitude) an Austrian development firm, is at the forefront of AR and credits its relationship with the RIM Development Team for helping take its Wikitude World Browser on the BlackBerry platform to the next level. Wikitude uses native GPS and compass functionally on the BlackBerry® smartphone to display a variety of information about a user's surroundings through the device's display.
Andy Gstoll, Chief Marketing Officer of Wikitude GmbH, talked to us about BlackBerry® 7, the importance of integrating BBM within Wikitude and the company's unique partnership with RIM.
Q: Why do you enjoy developing on BlackBerry 7 smartphones?
Andy: We were ecstatic when we came to an agreement with RIM to have our product preloaded on all new BlackBerry 7 devices globally. The features on the new OS and the latest version of BBM provided Wikitude a better social experience and a robust set of features.
Q: How important has it been to offer BBM integration on your AR platform?
Andy: The BlackBerry version has had a fantastic download and activation rate so far. Definitely what's driving the popularity at the moment is the BBM integration. When activating Wikitude on the device, you can choose different privacy modes that either keep your location private, open it up to just your BBM contacts or, in ‘Public’ mode, anyone can virtually find you through the app and add you or talk to you through BBM. Surprisingly, the ‘Public’ option is chosen more often than not. People seem to really enjoy connecting with others through the BBM features inside of Wikitude.
We also see a higher usage rate amongst those who frequently use BBM. Our analysis suggests the frequent BBM user will engage with Wikitude, on average, four to five times more per week. These integrated features unique to the BlackBerry platform, combined with the distribution and exposure of the Wikitude, has been a win-win for us and for RIM.
Q: How important has your relationship with the RIM Development Team been to your success?
Andy: Our relationship has been extremely valuable since we started working with the RIM Development Team in 2010. We're a small company in a small Austrian town but we've met with RIM executives and the RIM Development Team in Waterloo on multiple occasions to discuss key features of Wikitude, such as the BBM integration.
The chemistry we have with the RIM Development Team has been great and they've allocated a lot of resources towards our success, whether it's giving us technical feedback or helping us find strategic content partnerships from around the world. We've also had the opportunity to present at a variety of BlackBerry DevCon events, which has been really exciting. Even when we've had some challenges in the development process, the tremendous support we've received has allowed us to do things that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
Q: How does this level of commitment from RIM compare to your experience with other platforms?
Andy: I can say that we have an outstanding working relationship with RIM and the depth of support from RIM has been superior. Contrary to some other project focused dealings we have had in the industry, the RIM relationship has proven to be more strategic in focus. We've really been growing from one milestone to the next with RIM and it's that intensity, deep understanding, and trust that is a differentiator.
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