When a bunch of students completed their under-grad from one if the best institutions in the country in 2012, they had two choices in front of them – get into one of the cushy jobs waiting for them with high pay in a reputable company, or follow their dreams into starting a venture of their own. With no experience in establishing start-ups, they chose the only option that mattered to them – the latter. They had rented a small room, brought their PCs from their own homes and started an Interactive Marketing Solutions Provider – ‘Ice9 Interactive Ltd.‘ Two years later – they have a workforce of 45 people, have completed major projects with established MNCs in Bangladesh and regularly making breakthroughs in technology-based marketing solutions. To the people behind the company, this is just the beginning.
IT solutions companies in Bangladesh have a perceived notion – and rightly so. Most of the IT companies cater to outsourced jobs such as data-entry and similar. Other companies provide web development solutions, and a handful of them also develop Android and iOS based apps and games. The focus of Ice9 Interactive has always been researching and developing technological solutions unseen in these regions.
Ice9 Interactive was the first company to introduce Augmented Reality as a marketing solution in Bangladesh. With Ice9 Interactive’s augmented reality ‘Auleek’ app, some real estate companies in Bangladesh are providing an experience to their customers that transcend any existing marketing techniques. ‘Auleek’ transforms the 2D blueprints of apartments/buildings into 3D models. ‘Auleek’ is a method of displaying and dispersing vital information in an exciting, engaging, and effective way, with its popularity almost immediate among potential real estate buyers. The use of this technology can also get them to see the Warning Signs for a First Time Buyer that may go unnoticed with a basic check.
Augmented reality itself is a fairly new concept for the world. Instead of waiting for the technology to arrive in Bangladesh eventually, Ice9 Interactive had actively sought to bring it here earlier through rapid research and development. Through augmented reality, ice9 provides you unlimited imagination in a limited space.
While talking to Mr. Kazi Monirul Kabir, Country Consultant of Google Bangladesh he said, ‘Every time I have interacted with these amazing brave minds of Ice9 they have enthralled me with their creativity, passion and enduring attention to details. I firmly believe that the ice9 is going to grow further into a Bangladeshi company continually amazing us with world class innovations.’
Read Also: Bangladesh – The Next Global ICT Destination
Ice9 Interactive was also the first to introduce live augmented reality in Bangladesh, something that has followed in the footsteps of some of the interactive video software on the market in other countries. Being a sponsor of the biggest football icon in the world, Pepsi and Asiatic Events Marketing Ltd. collaborated with Ice9 Interactive to bring to Bangladesh the experience of meeting Lionel Messi, without the need for the superstar to actually be here in person. Standing in front of a camera, participants were able to see a 3D animated version of Messi standing beside them on screen. The event proved to be extremely popular and drew in huge crowds.
The popularity of gaming has transcended into the advertising world. The gaming platform is increasingly being used by advertisers to create awareness and build interest on product tie-ins. As such, Ice9 Interactive has created multiple customized Augmented Reality based games being used during various product launches – including ‘Horlicks for Women’ by GlaxoSmithKlein Bangladesh (agency: Grey Advertising Ltd.). At select retail stores on the day of the product launch, customized gaming booths were placed in the store for participants. The player would stand in front of the screen with a basket the objective would be to catch on-screen falling objects with the basket, with its real time movements being correlated onto the screen. The game proved to be immensely popular as a novel, interactive marketing technique.
Mr. Shariful Islam, Founder of Bangladesh Brand forum had the following to share about Ice9 Interactive, ‘I get truly amazed by the Ice9 team on their innovation, ideas and brilliant execution. They are a shining example of what the next generations of Bangladesh are capable of. I am eagerly looking forward to the days when they will leave their mark beyond Bangladesh’.
Most recently, Ice9 Interactive has been working to bring the next technological marvel to this region – Virtual Reality. The oculus rift, a virtual reality headset, is making waves throughout the global technological arena. Ice9 Interactive is the first Bangladeshi company to get its hands on a prototype for the device. Although it’s still in the R&D phase, be sure that they will soon introduce an application of it to the audience in all its impressive glory!
Ice9 Interactive has also worked to produce a range of gesture-based motion detecting games for clients like Grameenphone and GlaxoSmithKlein. Gesture and movement based games are increasingly becoming popular as crowd pullers, and the ‘penalty shootout game'(where the player assumes the role of a goalkeeper and tries to stop penalty kicks) and the ‘kinect painter’ (where the engager paints on screen using hands as brushes!) are clear winners among them. With such type of games, the simpler they are, the more addictive they become and the more people they draw in.
In their portfolio, Ice9 Interactive Ltd. Offers both augmented reality applications and gesture controlled applications. It has worked with a wealth of reputed multinational companies including Grameenphone (a concern of Telenor Group), Robi Axiata Limited, Nestle Bangladesh, Unilever Bangladesh, Pepsi, GlaxoSmithKlein, Reckitt Benckiser, etc. Already having established a domestic foothold, the company now aims to establish its presence internationally. And having known the people behind Ice9 Interactive – that is not only possible, but probable.