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Starbucks launching augmented reality Cup Magic app for the holidays

Starbucks is going to kick off the holiday season with a special app for iPhone and Android devices that will interact with art on holiday cups at the popular coffee shops around the world. You can see the app in action in the video below. As you can see, it's not really so functional as just a fun way to interact with the company's product. But the app does provide a little bit of interactivity, and apparently you can send holiday ecards directly from the software, as well as possibly win a prize for playing with all of the AR scenes. The app is set to be available on November 15th, a few days before Thanksgiving.

This release will end a year of really interesting mobile phone-based initiatives from the company, including that mobile payment app that came out back in January. That app has been used in over 20 million transactions already, and Starbucks has also release apps that work with QR codes for more in-store interactivity, as well as an app to manage the company's Starbucks card program.

It is fair to say Starbucks has seen a bit of success using the mobile app market to develop its brand and its retail experience. It'll be interesting to see if other retailers try to take on this kind of interactivity next year.

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