DM: So Dr. Berk, give us the lowdown on Wallit if you would please.
VB: Sure. Wallit is an app that lets users create virtual walls in real physical places, so when someone visits that place, they can see what other people felt about it via the app’s Augmented Reality capablities. You can also create virtual billboards around the wall, and big brands can advertise on these.
We are now evolving the concept to create branded walls for businesses. So if you take Starbucks, for example, there are 15,000 Starbucks in the world, and we are creating virtual walls in each of them, so they can run promotions and coupons on the walls and deliver content. Businesses can claim and customize their walls and pay a subscription fee for this. And off the back of this, we can give them analytics about who is interacting with their wall.
DM: And what if Starbucks don’t want to claim their wall?
VB: It’s a bit like the world wide web, so in our case we are creating 15,000 walls, one for each branch of Starbucks, and Starbucks can either claim this, or if they don’t want it, someone else can claim it.
DM: So have any big brands gone for it yet?
VB: We are creating the virtual walls now, and users are starting to use them. We have some big brands asking us to create them for them. We are focused on growing our user numbers, and once we have them, we expect big business to come to us.
DM: And what do those numbers look like?
VB: We have not released the numbers, but I can tell you that we are growing faster than Foursquare. We are also developing the ‘Superwall’ concept, which would link all the branded walls, so all the Starbucks walls together, for example. So someone in a Starbucks in San Francisco could have a conversation with someone in a Starbucks in Japan. It’s all about sharing, being able to connect with each other. By connecting people at different branches of the same brand, we are effectively creating a mini social network for each of their retail stores.
DM: And to those people who wonder what the point of all this is, what would you say?
VB: We are amplifying self expression at locations by providing a common experience. So rather than talking with two or three people, now you can talk with 200,000 people in a stadium in real time. We are using technology to facilitate a common experience area, shared among hundred or thousands of people, and that’s a very powerful tool.
Dr. Veysel Berk is CEO of Wallit