3-D Virtual Game Helps GE Promote Eco-friendly Technologies

The Mass-market Game Is Also a GE Sales Tool Aimed at C-suite Executives

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GE's AR game is a sales tool to reach senior executives in China, said Edwin Downing
GE's AR game is a sales tool to reach senior executives in China, said Edwin Downing
BEIJING (AdAgeChina.com) -- Global warming isn't child's play, but General Electric Co. believes getting consumers excited about eco-friendly technologies is easier when it's fun.

The U.S. company is promoting its Ecomagination business in China with an interactive 3-D game called GE Augmented Reality (AR). The game features user-propelled rotating wind turbines against the backdrop of the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower skyline and a misty seaside.

When users print the graphic from GE China's AR web site, www.imaginationatwork.cn, on standard printer paper and face it against a regular webcam, the 3-D image will change as the user moves the paper.

As an added effect, blowing on the computer's microphone will cause the 3D wind turbines to rotate as if the user is propelling them with wind.

Users can share the virtual experience through a "share" function that has built-in links to popular Chinese social networking sites Renren.com and Douban.com.

GE launched the AR game last month in China, where the company's revenue totaled $4.64 billion in 2008, to help its business partners, and the mass-market, better understand GE's Ecomagination technology.

Besides wind energy, GE's Ecomagination business involves bio gas solutions, clean coal technology, industrial emissions reduction, aircraft engines, locomotives and LED lighting for roadways.

China is a top priority
"China is a big market and one of our top priorities," said Edwin Downing, GE's director of online advertising and new media in New York. "GE realizes that advertising is a lot more than just TV and print. Digital is the future in China, so we decided to have a big push in that medium."

An earlier version of the game featuring San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background launched in the U.S. a year ago, but the Shanghai version marks the first time GE has used its AR technology overseas.

Available to all internet users in China, GE is marketing the game on tech blogs and web sites, where it has been adopted by tech enthusiasts.

But GE primarily developed the game to help GE reach potential customers "in the upper echelons and the C-suite," Mr. Downing said. "It's a great tool for sales people to really target customers they want to reach out to."

Mr. Downing said the initial results of the game in China "have been successful" and it was also a hit in the U.S., so "it's definitely a possiblity that we will create more versions of the game for other markets."

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