Interview • 05.12.2022

Experiencing books in a new way

How Hugendubel combines books with gaming to offer its customers a new experience

How do you offer something new to loyal customers and at the same time win over people you couldn't reach before? The bookseller Hugendubel has found a modern and innovative solution: the app "Weltensammler" ("Worlds Collectors").

With the app, customers become agents and experience the stories of selected books in a completely new way. One of the ideas behind the app is to show people that you don't always have to read entire novels to experience exciting stories. We asked Sarah Winter, Head of Retail Marketing and Visual Merchandising at Hugendubel, and Daniel König, Project Manager Mixed Reality Applications at Usaneers, how the idea came about and what else customers can expect in the application.

Sarah Winter looks into the camera
Sarah Winter, Head of Retail Marketing and Visual Merchandising at Hugendubel
Source: Birgit Hart

What is the idea behind the "Weltensammler" app?  

Sarah Winter: With the AR gaming app of the same name, we are continuing a successful community campaign from 2020. Back then, we called on the users of our customer app to find lost characters and objects from books. Within three weeks, a dedicated network of "agents" emerged and together they completed missions and cracked puzzles. The enthusiasm of the community was enormous. We saw a need and an opportunity to combine books and gaming.  

Why did you decide to use augmented reality?  

Winter: Bookshops invite you to linger, browse, browse and sometimes you literally sink into other worlds and adventures. Our app combines the real environment with augmented reality. No AR glasses are needed for this, the app can be downloaded free of charge and has no hidden additional costs. Hugendubel thus offers a new and easy access to books and reading. It is the first AR gaming app in the German book trade.

Daniel König looks into the camera
Daniel König, Project Manager Mixed Reality Applications at Usaneers
Source: Usaneers

How did the development of the app proceed?

Daniel König: From the very beginning, it was important for us to develop for both operating systems, i.e. for Android as well as for iOS. The challenge here is the use of different AR systems, but they have to work consistently. The difficulty with AR apps is compatibility with older devices. Usaneers has optimised the AR puzzles in the app so that they work as well as possible on devices up to four years old. Above all, the graphics had to be consistent and look both old and modern. After about nine months, the custom development was completed and the app could be published in the app stores.

How does the app work in terms of conversion from user to customer?

Winter: Hugendubel wants to get people excited about reading and books. We reach some people locally, many people rather digitally; especially young customers and groups of people who have not read before. We also want to approach them proactively and show them that you don't have to read a whole book to engage with literature. This can also be done in an informal way using new methods such as our gaming app. The feedback shows the playful willingness to engage with book genres that the users were not necessarily familiar with before in their role as agents.

What is the process of turning a novel into a "Weltensammler" mission?  

Winter: Basically, any book is suitable to be converted into a mission. It's basically a matter of identifying the core themes and key scenes of a book and converting them into corresponding puzzles without spoiling anything.  

König: The continuous exchange between Hugendubel and Usaneers is the key to an optimal user experience. Hugendubel provides the content and puzzle ideas from the book, which are jointly transformed into tasks and AR puzzles by 3D developers and software programmers. 

Are there already plans to expand the app with more stories and missions?

Winter: The world "Entertainment" will soon be supplemented by the book "Genesis" by Chris Carter. The app will also be expanded in the medium term to include more worlds, books and exciting missions.  

What are the reactions of the clientele so far?  

Winter: We receive feedback primarily through our social media channels. The customers are enthusiastic about the new way of access and the connection between the physical and the virtual world. 

König: As the first AR gaming app in the German book trade, Hugendubel is entering new territory with Usaneers and is on a par with other well-known AR apps such as the "IKEA Place App" or "Pokémon GO".

Interview: Matthias Groß

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Facial recognition in currency exchange machines to prevent AML...
10.05.2023   #security #security management

Facial recognition in currency exchange machines to prevent AML

Machines designed to offer quick and easy access to AI-powered, secure currency exchange already operating in Switzerland, Denmark and Ukraine

Currency exchange machines featuring facial recognition technology have been installed in a variety of airports and travel hubs across Europe, in a bid to streamline the user experience and safeguard against fraudulent behaviour. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Cash Handling powerd by Innovative Technology...
04.05.2023   #payment systems #cash management

Cash Handling powerd by Innovative Technology

Multi coin hoppers, note validators and recyclers

Established as a leading provider of cash handling equipment Innovative Technology enable customers to automate cash payments throughout the world. Manufacturing multi-coin hoppers, banknote validators and recyclers that handle millions of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Metaverse fashion week with an immersive ai-inspired showroom experience...
06.04.2023   #digitization #omnichannel

Metaverse fashion week with an immersive ai-inspired showroom experience

HUGO BOSS is taking a bold step into the Metaverse on the heels of a critically acclaimed Spring/Summer 2023 Fashion Show in Miami.

Serving as a digital extension of the BOSS Miami Fashion Show, with a visual identity that contrasts the event’s aquatic theme against brutalist architectural elements, the new space blends gamification with a digital shopping experience. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Alipay: Virtually experience Leonardo da Vincis work...
17.05.2023   #Tech in Retail #artificial intelligence

Alipay: Virtually experience Leonardo da Vinci's work

International Museum Day 2023: Experience Leonardo da Vinci's life's work virtually on Alipay

The virtual museum on Alipay is the latest example of how technology is being used to bring history and culture to life for a new generation of consumers. By partnering with Alipay, Digital to Asia and Way Experience are able to offer Chinese art ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Prioritising age assurance with biometric technology...
03.05.2023   #retail #Tech in Retail

Prioritising age assurance with biometric technology

Rely on algorithms and biometric technology for better prediction of and service to customers

There are no two ways about it – any business that deals with age restricted goods and services needs to have an airtight age assurance strategy in place to protect both itself and its customers. This is especially true in industries where age ...

Thumbnail-Photo: If you use A for Amazon, you have to adapt B – accounting...
30.05.2023   #online trading #e-commerce

If you use A for Amazon, you have to adapt B – accounting

Accounting software for Amazon retailers – is it necessary?

More and more customers are shopping online, so more and more retailers are offering their goods on e-commerce platforms - above all Amazon. Because the global mail order company promises an enormous range and simple sales. However, bookkeeping ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Enhance inventory management and loss prevention – with Zebra...
12.06.2023   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

Enhance inventory management and loss prevention – with Zebra SmartCount solution

Now available in DACH, this accurate, easy-to-use solution provides time and cost savings and better inventory management

Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a leading digital solution provider enabling businesses to intelligently connect data, assets, and people, will present Zebra SmartCount™,  a proven, comprehensive solution now ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Help yourself!: Are self-checkouts the next big thing in retail?...
14.06.2023   #brick and mortar retail #self-checkout systems

"Help yourself!": Are self-checkouts the next big thing in retail?

Efficient everyday business, efficient shopping

In the face of the digital age (and the rush just after the end of the workday or the day right before a holiday), retailers are looking for innovative technologies to continuously improve shopping experiences. Self-service checkouts (SCOs) allow ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Nike launches Airphoria in Fortnite
26.06.2023   #digitization #omnichannel

Nike launches Airphoria in Fortnite

Access open from June 20 at 12 pm ET through June 27 at 8 pm ET

Nike is launching “Airphoria” in Fortnite, a first-of-its-kind gaming experience. Building on a multiyear partnership with Epic Games, Airphoria brings to life the future of sport experiences at the intersection of games and culture, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Puma reimagines omnichannel shopping experience through metaverse...
21.06.2023   #omnichannel #customer experience

Puma reimagines omnichannel shopping experience through metaverse platform

Sports company expands its metaverse web destination, Black Station, with immersive digital retail experience

Sports company Puma has launched Black Station 2, a metaverse platform that bridges the digital and physical worlds, allowing users to purchase phygital footwear. Black Station 2 is an expansion to its initial Black Station debut last September as ...


Innovative Technology Ltd.
Innovative Technology Ltd.
Innovative Business Park
OL1 4EQ Oldham
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Zebra Technologies Germany GmbH
Zebra Technologies Germany GmbH
Franz-Rennefeld-Weg 2-6
40472 Düsseldorf
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart