AR Experience

By: Anna McAndrew

Augmented reality (AR) is starting to change the way we are experiencing reality. AR is an interactive experience in a real-world environment. It allows the objects that are in the real-world to be amplified by computer-generated information. It can include visual, auditory, and more.

AR can be used in games and apps. For example, Pokémon Go allows users to use the AR experience. To do this, simply tap the AR toggle at the top right of the screen when you are trying to catch a Pokémon.

Not only is AR popular in gaming, it is starting to become popular in Hollywood with films and costumes specifically. USA Today announced that they were getting ready for the academy awards with AR. They did this by targeting costume designers of Oscar nominated films. The AR experience was available last month on the USA Today app. It allowed viewers with an IPhone or Android to experience the real-world environment by showing costumes from specific movies. The movies that costumes were shown included, “Mary Poppins Returns,” “The Favorite,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Black Panther.”

“We wanted to give our readers a different feel, a hands-on experience,” said USA Today Life managing editor Alison Maxwell in an interview with Variety. The experience allows readers to explore individual costumes in their own four walls, thanks to mobile AR technology.

One thing that I found interesting when reviewing USA Today’s AR experience was that it was not easy to find. They had directions that were not as clear as they should be. I was told to download the app and find it under the “Life” section. Unfortunately, it was not that simple. I had to click around many times to figure out how to get to the actual AR experience instead of just the written article. USA Today specially said that they wanted the AR experience to be in just one app to make it easier to access. For me, it was closer to being “scattered” than simply opening up the app and finding it.

Overall, I felt that the article in Variety by Janiko Roettgers, was a short article that got right to the point of what the experience offered and what it should accomplish. The AR experience offers a different type of storytelling that allows you to interact with these costumes. I believe that the intended audience was for anyone who loves to watch these award winning and nominated movies. It also is targeted to anyone who wants to learn more about what AR can do and experience it for themselves. When going to other articles on this specific AR experience, I felt as if they all offered the same information. The only one that I thought had possibly some more information was in the USA Today article that had all of the same information as Variety but at the end it briefly explained how to get to the AR experience. If I could change one thing with the article it would be to put a link that brings you directly to the AR experience. It was a confusing process to get to the actual spot to view the costumes in AR.