Ad-Dispatch, the Dartmouth-based augmented reality company, will announce today that it is spinning off its audio and video production division into a separate company called Current Studios to ensure better use of its talent and resources.
Headed by seasoned producer Richard Huggard, Current Studios will offer broadcast radio and television production in addition to online web video, animation, and 3D modeling.
The group hopes the new branding will, among other things, help in sales to Atlantic Canadian companies by reminding them that there’s a source for top-quality production services in the region.
“Along with the success we’re having in the U.S. and other parts of Canada has actually come a decline in the work we’re doing locally,” said Huggard. “We’ve got the most talented animators, compositors and producers in Atlantic Canada, right here under our own roof. Why shouldn’t they be put to use on local projects?”
Huggard will also manage Canadian and North American accounts such as Loblaws, the Home Depot, McCain Foods, Walmart, and President's Choice.
Led by founder and CEO Nathan Kroll, Ad-Dispatch has been incredibly busy lately as it builds up its augmented reality business. Augmented reality is the ability to impose computer-generated video on an image of the real world. (No writer wants to admit his words fail him, but anyone who wants to understand AR should view this video.)
In January, Ad-Dispatch launched AR technology that brings licensed characters to life on clothing and merchandise through webcam-enabled devices such as smartphones or tablets. When the camera recognizes a trigger such as a clothing logo, animated characters appear on the screen and become interactive.
The company received $250,000 from Nova Scotia Business Inc. to market that product, which it used to win licensing deals with such clients as Major League Baseball.
More recently, the company received a $225,000 loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to help with the development of a new mobile application.
With the spin-off of Current Studios, Kroll now holds a significant stake in four Nova Scotian companies – Ad-Dispatch, Current Studios, Halifax’s The PostMan Post-Production Studio and Pinpoint Training Solutions.
Profit Magazine has named Ad-Dispatch one of Canada's fastest growing companies in 2008, 2009, and 2010.