Amazon uses AR to bring your Halloween pumpkin to life!

Keeping up the Halloween theme, Amazon USA has got in on the act with limited-edition boxes meant to engage consumers while bringing attention to its environment-saving initiatives. The boxes feature a large white pumpkin on the side that consumers can draw on. Then, using Amazon’s augmented reality (AR) app, consumers can scan the QR code with their smartphone camera to see their customized pumpkin drawing come to life, similar to Snapchat’s AR filters.

Amazon is taking advantage of the fear fest ahead of its Prime Day annual promotion and is already shipping orders using the pumpkin packaging. Users scan a QR code on a box to bring up a customizable AR version of the object, which will stay on your phone's camera as they move around.

The app's screenshots in the App Store show that boxes might offer different activities. Scanning the QR code could make a small AR corgi dog jump out to play, or turn your shipping box into an AR car. There's also an option to colour a face on a pre-printed white pumpkin. Users scan it and watch it appear in AR.

After drawing a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin shape and scanning the QR code, a 3D image of the user's jack-o-lantern digitally emerges from the box. Users can then decorate this with digital clothing and accessories and change its colour. Flipping the camera to a selfie view will overlay the pumpkin on a user's face.

Users can overlay an AR pumpkin with a top hat and bat wings on their photos, or see animated dinosaurs playing on the surface of a box, suggesting how shoppers can engage with festive Amazon experiences beyond purchasing products.

“As Halloween fans young and old seek things to do at home this holiday season, Amazon has created its first shipping box augmented reality experience that is fun, free, and can be launched directly from the comfort of your home. The activity on our Halloween-themed boxes is a great way to reuse boxes before dropping them in the recycling bin, and they underscore our commitment to sustainability with a fun twist that anyone can enjoy,” said Vas Obeyesekere, senior industrial designer at Amazon,

The interactive boxes are available through to Halloween. The Amazon Augmented Reality app is free and available on both Android and iOS, but sadly is region locked for US customers only. One commentator speculates Amazon is testing the technology, ready for a bigger roll out across the Holiday Season and turn the box into a more engaging Brand experience.

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