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- Magic Leap, Intel Bring Augmented Reality Cinema to SXSW
At the 2020 edition of South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, kicking off March 13 in Austin, Texas, technology companies Magic Leap and Intel will lead the way in showcasing the wave of immersive cinema.
Magic Leap creative director Jeremy Vanhoozer wrote and directed The Last Light. With credits from Cartoon Network, Electronic Arts, and Disney, Vanhoozer was also the director of Magic Leap apps Undersea and Create. So, while SXSW attendees will be the first audience to view The Last Light, Vanhoozer's previous work for Magic Leap gives us a hint at what to expect.
Joining The Last Light in the mixed reality category are Fragments by director Aaron Bradbury and immersive studio Atlas V and a pair of submissions from director Dani Parr, Dimension X: Dinosaurs and Dimension X: Robots.
Meanwhile, in the augmented reality category, Intel Studios and South Korea-based SM Entertainment will bring nine-member K-pop group NCT 127 to Austin via Superhuman AR.
Through video and volumetric capture footage, NCT 127 will virtually perform their single "Superhuman," which is brought into the physical realm for the audience through tablet viewers.
- Darabase and Zappar Join Forces to Solve Problems With Location-Based AR Experiences
Right now, AR experiences are rather like paint. They can be applied to our physical reality to inform or entertain. The key difference is that if someone applies paint to, say, someone else’s storefront, it’s illegal. Because no one “owns” digital space, people can manipulate real images with AR effects in whatever way they want.
Some AR experiences work anywhere. Camera filters are a good example. Other AR experiences, called “location-based AR“, only work in specific locations.
However, people don’t legally “own” locations in the way that they “own” property. That means that there is little property owners can do if someone else develops a location-based AR experience around their property. That’s even true if the location-based AR experience is making money off of its attachment to the physical location.
Darabase is a unique UK-based AR startup that launched just over a year ago. Their goal is to help the people who own properties claim ownership of the digital space as well.
The goal is that property owners can reserve their own locations for their own location-based AR experiences if they so wish. Alternatively, they could monetize their location to make money from the location-based AR experiences placed on their property by others. It’s kind of like the digital version of selling a billboard. After all, if you owned a billboard you probably wouldn’t expect other people to go about placing advertisements on it without compensating you.
Also based in the UK, Zappar is a world-leading XR app developer. Their platform’s users can both create and experience location-based AR. An update that they released last spring gives just about anyone access to advanced AR technology like face and location mapping.
The end result is that lots of developers use Zappar to create AR experiences. Further, lots of users use Zappar to access AR experiences created by a lot of different developers. By requiring permission by property owners to allow location-based AR experiences on its platform, Zappar can make a significant impact.
- USA Today Examines the Problems with the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft with Latest AR Story
After jumping to the head of the class of augmented reality journalism in 2019, USA Today is continuing to push the medium forward in 2020.
The latest AR story from the media company explores one of the biggest stories of 2019 in the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which the Federal Aviation Administration grounded in March 2019 after two crashes resulted in 346 deaths.
Titled "737: What Went Wrong," the story is accessible through the USA Today app for iOS and Android and can be found under the augmented reality section.
After presenting background on the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft and their crashes, the experience centers on explaining the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MACS), which has been identified as the root cause for both crashes.
The New York Times established itself as leaders in AR journalism in 2018, including pioneering milestones such as volumetric video and Magic Leap experiences.
But as the Times took a step back in 2019, USA Today assumed the mantle of leadership in AR journalism.
Since debuting its AR storytelling practice in 2018 with the 321 Launch app, AR stories from USA Today have ranged from investigative journalism, current events, and history to sports and culture.
Along with growing immersive practice from Time magazine, AR journalism appears to be here to stay, which is more than can be said of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.