ESADE, making an impact through augmented reality


Recognised for its academic excellence, Esade is one of the leading business schools in the world due to its focus on training leaders and entrepreneurs who are responsible and committed to society. As part of its marketing and communication strategy, Esade wants to take advantage of the latest technologies to connect with its target market and offer an innovative and personalised experience.

Founded in 1958, and part of Ramon Llull University since 1995, this institution, which operates from the firm commitment to do things well and generate positive and significant change in the business world, has become a leading educational institution internationally for its academic innovation and its social impact through the human qualities of the professionals who have trained there.

Over the years, Esade has managed to create a collaborative ecosystem which has resulted in an academic, business and institutional network that has turned its different campuses into real innovation and entrepreneurship laboratories.

Augmented reality, the answer to a dual objective

Esade’s prestige as an educational institution is undeniable, but its ongoing focus on innovation always takes it one step further, seeking ways to retain its position as a leader in innovation. At the same time, nurturing and strengthening the connection with the students is paramount so that it can pass on its values and continue guaranteeing their success through training the best professionals.

At Runroom, in response to this dual objective set by Esade, we saw a clear opportunity to move the brand into the world of augmented reality. As a result, we have been working with Esade to create a series of augmented reality cards allowing future Esade students to have immediate access to brochures and request an online appointment with the admissions representative.

Through these augmented reality cards, potential students have direct access to all the information about the academic content on offer, the grants available and the different student support services. Users can interact with the content of the cards in an intuitive and customised way. For example, they can see videos explaining the study programmes they select, access detailed information about the admission requirements or request an online appointment with the admissions representative.

This is how we did it

One of the ways Esade can reach out to students is through the education, training and career fairs that many young people and professionals attend looking for information about educational centres and possible job opportunities. Esade’s staff had noted how complex it was at times to pass on all the information to those visiting its stands. This problem turned into a great opportunity to use augmented reality to support Esade as follows:

  1. We created an alternative to the traditional brochures, moving the information into the digital world through augmented reality. Each member of Esade’s sales team has a unique card with a QR code that gives access to a unique URL.

  2. Each QR directs the visitor to a webapp where they can find all the information they need without having to download or install any applications.

  3. We generated a backoffice through which Esade can generate QRs and manage the information for those already created with full autonomy.

For Runroom, it was important for the client to be able to generate the cards through their own representative, which is why we chose to start from an open source project that would allow us to develop our own solution. In the end we chose MindAR, some JavaScript libraries specialised in image tracking with direct integration with A-Frame for the layout that guarantees the performance we needed. These are some of the advantages that it gave us, according to its GitHub:

  • Written in pure javascript, end-to-end from the underlying computer vision engine to frontend.

  • Uses gpu (through webgl) and web worker for performance.

  • Developer friendly. Easy to setup.

With that we have created a 100% web app, meaning that no installation is required since it works directly with any device, therefore reducing technological friction and increasing the ability to work with the features of any device.

The reality of the results

This project has been a real success for Esade. On the one hand, the augmented reality cards have allowed the business school to connect with its target market in an innovative and customised way, generating a high level of engagement and loyalty. On the other, it has helped position Esade as a leading institution in the use of advanced technologies for communication and marketing.

Another of the improvements made with the use of these cards has been an increase in the efficiency of its student admission and selection process. By allowing users to request an online appointment with the admissions representative in a quick and simple way, the cards have reduced the time and costs associated with admission management, improving the user experience and increasing the efficiency of the school.

In short, Runroom augmented reality cards have been a key tool allowing Esade to position itself as an innovative institution committed to excellence and user satisfaction.

At Runroom, we enjoy every project we are involved in, but we saw this one in particular as a new opportunity to apply our knowledge and continue exploring extended reality, which covers augment, virtual and mixed reality.

That is why we also wanted to nail our flag to the Metaverse through Decentraland, the 3D decentralised platform in which users from around the world can share a virtual world. If you are also a fan of the Metaverse, don't hesitate to visit us.

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