Did you go to the FiT Show in June? Did you go to the MACO stand? If so, then you may have seen their rather swanky looking app which was launched during that show. Well, I have been playing around with it for a couple of weeks now and this is my full review of the app.


For those who went to the show in June, you will have had one of these:

This was a nifty little presentation box that all visitors to the MACO stand were given as part of a wider goody bag, which to be fair was quite a good little package. And those Austrian chocolates went down very well!

Open it up and the box was fairly well stocked. Inside you got an explanation of how to operate the app, directions to download the app from Apple’s App Store and Google Play, a MACO shaped booklet about the company and the all important trigger image. And they threw in a free pair of ear phones, which I haven’t got round to listening through yet.

Of course if you didn’t go then before you download the app you’re going to need to get your hands on the MACO trigger image before you can make their augmented reality feature work. Though this isn’t hard to acquire.

For an app, I was impressed with the effort MACO went to in presenting their new sales feature. They chose not to just print a cheap flyer or just demo it via a tablet and leave it at that. The box and it’s contents gave the impression that this wasn’t just an app, but a much more significant sales opportunity that should be included in future demos.

The App And It’s Features

So, onto the app itself then. For those that are still unfamiliar with AR or Augmented Reality, this is an app that produces images and features on screen, often interactive, when your smartphone or tablet scans a specially designed image. In this case, the MACO AR app has a trigger image in the MACO hexagon shape:

Once your tablet has scanned that trigger image, this is the welcome screen that greets you:

Which then leads you on to this:

Now if I was going to be picky about something, it would be the way this set of instructions and the ones that follow this screen appear on the screen. There is a lot of blue there, and the text could be a little sharper. Remember most smartphones and tablets have a high-definition screen to make the most of high-res text and images. Perhaps something to upgrade in any future upgrades?

Practically though, it is a nice touch that the app developers have included quite straightforward and clear instructions. For those who haven’t used augmented reality before it can be a bit confusing. So having directions on hand to help is a great feature to have.

Once you’ve rifled through the instructions, you are taken to this quite stunning 3D rendered and fully interactive image of a MACO locking mechanism:

You will also see a small blue sub-menu on the left hand side. I’ll come to that in a moment. Once that mechanism appears on your screen, you can zoom all the way in, clicking the various MACO icons to reveal various bits of information about the lock, as well as blowing the whole mechanism wide open to reveal every single component in great detail. That feature is what impressed me the most, simply because of how detailed it was.

It’s a great way to really get into the nitty gritty of the individual parts of the mechanism and to see how they all piece together…if that’s your sort of thing. But seriously, as a work of art such detail has to be admired.

Right then, onto the sub-menu. As well as being able to investigate every little working part, the MACO app has a number of in-built features which don’t require the use of the trigger image. One of these features is a video which gives the app user a very detailed guided tour around the MACO factory in Austria. This is the video:

The addition of a video like this is a great way to open up MACO to the rest of the industry and even the general public and demonstrate that a lock isn’t just a lock, but the end result of a very detailed and pain staking process to ensure precision quality and home security. 

If you click on the reel icon, it takes you to a second 3D video which goes into detail about the lock itself and the specifics which makes this MACO locking mechanism what it is. Again, the detailing in that video is something to admire. Out of all the features in this app, it is the 3D rendering which is the most impressive.

The news icon takes you straight to the news section on the MACO website and the WWW icon takes you to the MACO site itself.


Make no mistake, this isn’t a small app to download. In fact it’s over 42MB which for an app of this type is fairly large. But you can see why, it’s packed full of that amazing 3D detail and video content. However given that, the app still performs pretty quickly on a tablet.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not instant, but start up speeds are snappy and moving from feature to feature is a swift and clean experience. No 42MB app is instant. What it does mean is that if you were to use this with a client in their home, it wouldn’t disrupt the flow of your overall demonstration.


In terms of the way the app looks, I think they have done a bang up job. The opening white screen with the MACO logo is clean and doesn’t need anything else. The blue screens and low-res text on the instructional screens could perhaps do with the odd tweak, but again they are there to do a job and they succeed in doing that.

The way the app scans the trigger image actually looks really well on screen. If you were to show that to a homeowner I think they would be quite impressed. The blue sub-menu on the left hand side does a good job in not stealing too much of your eye attention away from the party piece which is of course that stunning interactive locking mechanism.

A Useful App?

If you have read my post on Sunday, you will know that I consider apps to be part of a new way to sell to the homeowner. The meteoric rise of smartphones, tablets and the internet are allowing people to become very quickly educated on subjects that they may not have previously been before. This is where apps can help educate homeowners into what products they are actually buying and what goes into getting them from raw materials to a working part in their home. And for that reason, this is why the MACO app is definitely worth downloading.

The augmented reality features would allow you to show the right sort of homeowner exactly what makes up the locking mechanism you use on your doors. Lets face it, we all have those customers who really want to know every nut and bolt you use! The video helps explain the immense amount of work that goes into making the product and is backed up by all the other interactive features.

I know that many months were spent on the creation of the app, especially all those 3D features, and it is clear to see that hard work. Is it useful and is it worth including in future demonstrations? Yes. It serves a purpose and it is that which makes anything in this world valuable, having a purpose. Hats off to the guys at MACO who worked on this, it’s a great effort!

You can download the MACO app from the Apple and Google app stores, simply search for MACO UK.

Note: this app isn’t compatible on Windows devices yet.