AR In The Real-World #1: AR in Events
Among all the sectors that have been impacted by Covid, the event industry is probably the one that has had to reinvent itself the most. From online concerts to digitised conferences to virtual pop-up stores, new creative ideas have emerged from this critical but game-changing situation, leading to new ways of building IRL experiences. Now that lockdown is over, some new creative standards are being infused into live performances around the world.
To give an insight into the new possibilities that extended reality can bring to events, we have researched and selected the best AR projects in sports, music, art and the commercial industry.
Known for his work in pop culture, artist Alex Israel was invited by the Bass Museum to present an immersive exhibition at Miami Art Basel 2021. In collaboration with Snapchat, Alex Israel created five augmented reality experiences, each linked to one of his self-portrait paintings.
The painted panels become portals to immersive experiences where viewers encountered different characters and landscapes giving more creative depth to the works on display. In addition to these cinq experiences, a site-specific sixth one was proposed to transform the outside of the museum into a giant artwork in the artist’s effigy. This was made possible by Snap's Landmarker technology, which enables interaction with buildings in the real world.
"The challenge of working with AR is that there is almost no limitation to it. I was inspired to bring my paintings to life in a virtual three-dimensional way." Alex Israel
"The Bass curatorial team has been looking for different ways where technology and art were sorts of overlapping and once we saw Alex Israel and Snapchat project we knew exactly that was something we were interested in doing. Technology shouldn't be pushed to a corner and only used to either sell products or talk to your friends, it really should be allowed inside of museums." Silvia K.Cubina, Executive Director of The Bass
Date: Nov 2021 / Partner: Snapchat / Tech: Snap Lenses & Landmaker
For his latest exhibition, "Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow" at The Broad in downtown Los Angeles, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami offers an immersive journey into his colourful and fanciful world. Starting from the outside of the museum, which hosts his new creations, visitors can scan QR codes on the pavement and bring up two animated projections in augmented reality.
Between oversized characters and animated 3D elements, the exhibition offers a playful and unusual visit, which takes the visitor beyond the physical limits of the museum. These highly immersive experiences were created in collaboration with Meta (Instagram's parent company)
Date: May 2022 / Partner: Meta / Agency: BUCK / Tech: Instagram filter
In 2021, Acute Art and Dazed Media presented "Unreal City", London's largest AR art festival. Using Apple's innovative ARKit technology, "Unreal City" invited you to take a walk along the Thames to discover 36 sculptures in augmented reality.
Thanks to this operation, visitors could access the works of world-famous artists such as Nina Chanel Abney, Olafur Eliasson, KAWS, and many other world artists. The outdoor experience was then made accessible to the public directly at home via the Acute Art application.
"The special thing with augmented reality is that you can weave it into reality. AR and VR represent the first new artistic mediums of this century, so of course, artists are interested. They use these possibilities in very different ways. Some of them are more interested in philosophical possibilities; the limits of human perception. Others are more interested in the fact that you can distribute art in very different ways. Compared to shipping big sculptural works, I guess this is a glimpse of a totally new way of communicating art. Making it available to very large audiences." Daniel Birnbaum, Art Curator - Acute Art
Date: Dec 2021 / Partner: Acute Art & Dazed Media / Tech: In-app AR by Apple ARkit
Coachella x Unreal Engine
The Coachella music festival partnered with Unreal Engine to add broadcast-quality augmented reality (AR) to their YouTube live stream. In collaboration with musician Flume's artistic team, the event created huge psychedelic 3D images that fit perfectly with the design of the stage.
The performance was only visible via live stream to make the viewing experience more entertaining and immersive. The result can serve as a model for how Coachella organisers could create unique future experiences for viewers at home.
“The festival experience is about fully immersing yourself in the music and atmosphere to the point you get lost in the moment. With live AR, we transported fans at home to that magical place, so they could experience Flume and Zawanda’s surreal imagination. A place where 300 ft. tall trippy cockatoos beckon and surreal flowers hover in the air.” says Eric Wagliardo, Live AR Producer at Coachella
Date: May 2022 / Partner: Epic Games & Unreal Engines / Tech: Broadcast-quality augmented reality (AR) to YouTube live stream
Dj Snake x Snapchat
A Parisian and fervent supporter of Paris-Saint-Germain, the famous DJ decided to play in the mythical venue of the Parc des Princes. During this very special concert, fans were invited to open Snapchat and scan a Snapcode accessible on-site, triggering a magical augmented reality experience.
Fans were able to discover DJ Snake's giant avatar, leaning over the Parc des Princes, with different animations depending on the moment of the concert: choreographies, greetings, light animations, etc. This experience was carried out in collaboration with Génies, a company that specialized in the creation of avatars for social networks.
Date: June 2022 / Partner: Snapchat / Studio: Atomic Digital Design / Tech: Face & World Lens
Elton John x Vodafone
Vodafone and British icon, Elton John came together at BST Hyde Park to deliver a unique augmented reality show that paid tribute to the NHS and frontline workers for their incredible efforts during the pandemic.
Using cutting-edge AR technology to take Elton’s highly anticipated Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to the next level, the performance, which took place during the singer’s iconic song, “I’m Still Standing”, saw fans enjoy a spectacular time-synced 3D show, viewed via a custom app.
“It’s fantastic to see so many NHS and frontline workers enjoying the tech tribute we designed for Elton John’s iconic song, I’m Still Standing. We hope we helped the audience feel connected to the performance in a new, exciting way and that it will be one that they will remember for a long time to come” said Max Taylor, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK
Date: June 2022 / Agency: FUSE / Studio: Unit9 / Tech: In-app AR
Golf US Open
For the 2021 US Women's Open, Deloitte launched an Augmented Reality app to provide golf fans with an engaging and immersive experience. Through a 3-dimensional view of all 18 championship holes on both courses, which can be projected via the app's AR technology, users can follow the progress of players' shots or compare their performances in real-time.
In addition to watching the action live, fans were able to take virtual tours of the Olympic Club clubhouse and Torrey Pines Lodge in 360 degrees, bringing an additional layer of immersive entertainment to the experience.
Date: May 2021 / Partner: Deloitte / Tech: In-app AR
Dallas Cowboys & AT&T
In partnership with Samsung and AT&T, the Dallas Cowboys unveiled augmented reality (AR) activations to engage fans and transcend the game experience beyond the physical event. During the Dallas Cowboys NFL season, the campaign brought spectators closer to the action and their heroes via hyper-precise, persistent, never-before-seen AR experiences that can be viewed from any seat in the stadium in real-time, including holograms of 80 larger-than-life football players, games, live stats and more - all using Samsung 5G-enabled cell phones.
“We’re combining the physical and digital worlds to create a world-class experience for fans, and sports provide a perfect example of how our business-first 5G strategy will bring value to consumers. We’re paving the way for how immersive fan experiences could be built in venues across the country as our 5G network continues to grow,” said Mo Katibeh, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Business.
Date: Nov 2019 / Partner: Samsung / Studio: Nexus Studios / Tech: 3-D volumetric video and AR
CDF PSG vs Monaco final & France TV
During the Football French Cup final between Monaco and Paris St Germain, France Télévisions experimented with XD Motion's 3D augmented reality technology.
X fly 3D Cablecam technology was used to create 3D recreations of Paris and Monaco cityscapes. They were shown using the cablecam in the form of a helicopter descent shot that France Televisions broadcast to live viewers before the match and during half-time.
The X fly 3D Cablecam tracked the stadium in 3D in real-time, and virtual graphics developed on Unreal and Pixotape 3D software were overlaid on the footage. With the addition of two main cameras inside the stadium, viewers were also able to see 3D perspective shots of the cities in AR.
Date: May 2021 / Client: France TV / Studio: XD Motions / Tech: Pixotype & XD Motion’s camera technology
Chipotle & NHL
Chipotle unveiled a new mixed-reality commercial with the NHL Colorado Avalanche team. In partnership with The Famous Group, a fan experience technology company, the brand created a unique commercial during a Stanley Cup game: a Chipotle-branded Zamboni bringing out a massive burrito bowl onto the ice. As it dropped on the ice, a giant gloved hand breaks through and grabs the bowl.
Broadcasted on the rink's Jumbotron, the impressive animation woke up the crowd during halftime and created an exciting moment of entertainment.
Date: May 2021 / Partner: NHL / Agency: The Famous Group / Tech: AR broadcasting
Vogue x Snapchat
On the occasion of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, Vogue and Snapchat presented an augmented reality exhibition at the art centre La Malmaison. Called "Redefining the Body", the event offered a creative journey around 7 emblematic fashion brands, each with an augmented and interactive environment translating the universe of each designer/fashion house.
As an introduction and conclusion to this adventure, the façade of La Malmaison has also been virtually "transformed" using Snap's Landmarker technology.
Date: Juin 2022/ Partenaire: Snapchat/ Studio: Atomic Digital Design/ Tech: Snap Lenses & Landmaker
A next-generation playground that combines physical structures with augmented reality technology to immerse visitors in a unique digital environment. Using their smartphones, users could explore physical artworks enhanced with augmented reality visuals or digital portals to additional worlds such as Bubbloonland, Fluttering Forest and Crystal Galaxy.
Visitors could also collaborate with others in real-time and contribute to existing structures using persistent AR elements, as well as create their own art by drawing in mid-air. These creations remain in the Dreamground experience for 24 hours, allowing other visitors to enjoy their creations. The experience can be accessed at Hollywood Park and SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, as well as Samsung 837 in New York City.
Date: Nov 2021 / Agency: Wieden+Kennedy / Studio: Moment Factory / Tech: 4K Infinity Screen by Samsung featuring QR codes
To celebrate its annual Christmas window display, luxury department stores' Harrods mixed tradition with augmented reality and 3D animation.
In collaboration with Visualise AR & VR, the shop's windows offered a visual journey around the theme "Witness a Spectacle", featuring a dancing automaton on a giant feast table that stretched the length of the vast façade. Using their smartphones, window shoppers could admire this augmented staging of the windows.
Date: Nov 2021/ Partner: Niantic/ Agency: Visualise/ Tech: 8th WAll Web AR
About the author: Rémy Dumas
Rémy Dumas has been working for nearly 10 years in the field of creative strategy where he identifies, analyzes and defines strategic opportunities related to digital innovation and consumer trends for the luxury and creative industries.
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