Impulse Machine

How ARtifact helps brands to get insights remotely

Impulse Machine studio and NEUROTREND lab offer a replacement for classic research tests and survey frameworks – a switch to AR for insights received directly from respondents with no need to leave the home.


The Idea

About months ago, Impulse Machine created and released an AR-solution for conducting remote package and marketing communication elements studies with their partner – company that performs neuromarketing studies – NEUROTREND.

The guys from NEUROTREND lab are talented experts in neurophysiology, marketing research, behavioral economics and physiology while Impulse Machine (part of «KB-12» corporate group) are focused on developing various content in VR/AR.





Impulse Machine are collaborating for a while and jointly create MarkTech-tools for different business challenges, for example – studying shopping behavior in virtual reality. Needless to say, events of last few months turned the whole world upside down. During a meeting with one of Impulse Machine’s major clients even before mandatory self-isolation, they got the request for testing of new package – get the audience opinion. The task is trivial, but, given their obsession with creating innovative MarkTech products, they wanted to offer solution with new framework – so that respondents could view the tested package, even though remotely.


What’s wrong with classic test approaches?

Generally there are two ways well known within marketers. First is the hall-test, when group of people analyze product (package, any branding elements) at special facility. They are conducted offline – you need to rent the space, produce the prototypes, put them on shelf, source and invite respondents and conduct the test itself. That approach is quiet expensive and data acquisition speed will be anyway lower compared to remote studies with equivalent sample size. It’s worth mentioning that Impulse Machine is not considering tests that include sensors here – smells, taste or haptics – as remote studies for them are impossible.

Second way is the online testing. Yes, they are commonly and actively used at the market and Impulse Machine is not reinventing the wheel here. Usually it’s programmed questionnaire for mobile devices and desktop that includes package visuals – more likely flat 2D pictures, 3D are less often due to the price. In a way, both these ways are outdated and provide with not entirely correct data as the same web page could be viewed differently depending on device and browser.

Impulse Machine came up with an idea on how to combine these two classic research approaches and make them remote, high-tech and user friendly. It became clear almost immediately after brainstorm that AR is ideal for this case.





How we created a new test approach

Impulse Machine’s team was looking for a way to collect data from each user with mobile device besides the classic research questionnaire. They began with establishing data acquisition for all manipulations that user is doing with the package: zooming in and out, viewing it 360, how much time and on what actions were spent. To allow this, user has to grant access to record actions before the test start and then they are tracked automatically.

Impulse Machine understood that just testing package design is not always that very thing and it’s much more important to get customer’s opinion on your product within competitive environment, moreover – within the shelf in the store. And they provided such feature – user just needs to aim his smartphone/tablet on a flat surface, like a wall, and he will see the shelf layout like in regular store. The system will allow respondent to choose package he likes more.


Feedback and demo test

First thing Impulse Machine did once they finished the approach was sharing the idea with partners and key clients to get their thoughts on market fit of Impulse Machine’s solution. There was a huge interest and lots of requests for AR-research demonstration so they went ahead with developing demo version.

Impulse Machine propose you to test it too – you could review an actual AR package design test. But as this demo is not intended for a wide audience and isn’t oriented for specific parameters, there is a small constraint – no programmed logic in screener that would eliminate non-target audience.





More about the studies

Tested objects may vary: product package, separate logo, slogan, banner or wobbler – any branding communication elements. Impulse Machine picked basic quantitative test methods and transferred them in AR.

1) Monadic tests
Respondents analyze one object.

2) Paired comparison
Comparison of two (or more) models with in-parallel view.

3) Sequential comparison
Few models offered for evaluation, for example – various designs of the same package. Order of demonstration is rotated.

4) Comparison within competitive environment
Respondent is offered to choose the object he likes more within competitive brands (with enabled shelf layout feature). All data is automatically collected on the server and processed with SPSS Statistics toolbox.





Promotion and future plans

Impulse Machine’s main goal is to provide brands with an opportunity to stop wasting time and get quality insights by conducting remote studies within work-from-home situation. They offered their service to existing «KB-12» clients and partners. Thanks to collaboration with major research companies on the market, they expect to get the widest exposure and full engagement. Impulse Machine already kicked off remote studies for several clients in CIS. Their short-term goal is to make service more respondent-friendly and approach the US market with it.



Global changes impose two things: switch to online and speed. As you understand, acquiring and processing data virtually is much faster as opposed to classic face-to-face studies. You can conduct package tests among audience from state or country and use AR-objects multiple times or make any changes to them promptly.


STUDIO: Impulse Machine

AR, Marketing, Training May 3, 2020 by Alvin Manalac