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SM Supermalls' iButterfly Augmented Reality

During the previous years where technology and smart gadgets have not yet come this far, the backyards of most residential houses were greened with gardens and different species of butterflies fluttering from the plants and flowers. Even in our school yard during my elementary years, the early mornings are playful times of who can catch the most beautiful or biggest butterfly and as we caught them, we were always amazed at how beautiful and unique their wings are from each other. One of the biggest butterfly that we always encounter were those called "Mariposa" (no, not the Inn, but the butterfly) and was said by our parents to be a lucky symbol when it gets inside the house.

Today, and sadly though, we only see butterflies in sanctuaries or protected butterfly parks. But have you thought of seeing and catching butterflies inside the malls? Can you imagine your kids catching butterflies while strolling and in just a few while, the kids will just invite you to Jollibee for a burger treat of his own?

Yesterday, Saturday morning of May 5, I've been privileged to be invited and witness the launching of a mobile application called iButterfly that uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology - a view of the real-world environment with a computer-generated element.

The iButterfly is an application for iOS and Android OS enabled phones/gadgets where you can catch the iButterfly using your smartphone via AR. It was previously created by Japan's Mobile Art Lab and has been successfully launched in Japan, Hongkong, Indonesia, Singapore, and just recently, in SM Supermalls here in the Philippines made technologically possible by SM Cyberzone. The iButterfly app uses GPS for the location and number of virtual butterflies, and motion sensors for the smartphone (acting as a "net") to catch the iButterfly and store it inside the users' smart gadget. Each iButterfly caught is marked with freebie items and prizes which can be redeemed from the partner sponsors.

The different iButterflies available at SM Supermalls
The launch held at SM North EDSA, Atrium the Block was hosted by Raymond Guttierez and gathered by bloggers, early mall spectators, sponsors and celebrities (Magalona family), who most if not all, are tech geeks in one way or another. As early as past 10AM, people who owns an iOS or Android smart phones started catching those flying iButterflies from the AR world.

Other parts of the program includes text twisting game for the word "B U T T E R F L Y" where audience were asked to form the longest word they can; catch the tune; and pass the paragraph err... message. The prizes were generous from Timex watches, laptops, and a 40-inch LCD TV for the major game of the launch - capture at least seven (7) iButterflies. And guess who caught the most butterfly? A young boy among the Magalona family (sorry forgot his name). Shows that whether it's a real butterfly, or an augmented reality iButterfly, kids are still fond of playing butterfly catching games.

As for me, well, I also caught a handful of butterflies without using an iOS nor Android gadget as I don't have one yet (when will I ever have one?). So how was I able to capture butterflies? Let me show you the techniques through the following shots ;)

Butterflies loves the flowers, so first, better spot them on a flower pot
Then start chasing them as they fly away (but please, don't kill them)
Carefully pick the butterfly... silently... slowly... lovingly...
See that? That's not a butterfly, it's a common housefly :)
Taddaaa, there they are!
Okay, I haven't really caught any from the augmented reality but instead, I caught a handful of iButterflies -- imaginary butterflies that is. Maybe next time I'll get to try this wonderful mobile application when I already have an iOS or Android-enabled device, for now, I'll just settle with my own iReality, tehee!

Enjoy some more photos I took during the event:
Raymond, with his favorite question for the day: "Do you like butterflies?"
Crowd and Guests
Magalona Family on their iButterfly family day
Allan trying his luck to capture an...... internet signal
A guest catching an iButterfly from her smartphone
BDO e-Banking info iButterfly successfully captured
So you want to try this App for yourself now? Visit SM's iButterfly portal site and get to know their promo mechanics and partner sponsors. You may also download the iButterfly mobile application from the links below:
for iOS gadgets
for Android gadgets

And here's an ad video of the iButterfly

Now, "Do I love butterflies?" ;)


  1. Interesting but I don't know if I should be happy or sad about it. it's quite scary how this digital age revolutionizes so many things. seeing the kids tap and shake their gadgets for butterflies is quite sad for me. nothing compares to the real thing and we're lucky enough to have experienced playing with a real butterfly.

  2. The same sympathy here Aileen. Soon, it's not only the butterflies that we're just going to see via augmented reality, but most of the animals as well. Oh I wonder how the people and nature's future would look like! :(


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