Story at the Center

This blog delves into the intricacies of aligning the C-suite around compelling narratives to achieve unprecedented success.

  • AUGUST 17, 2022
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Solving Creative Problems with Augmented Reality

Eric Melin

Creative Director

At 1P, we apply technologies and workflows to create new techniques not often associated with B2B storytelling. Our enterprise-level Discovery as a Service method enables us to create multiple strategic customer journeys and experiences, and we want to make sure nothing is off the table when it comes to realizing those stories in the most effective way possible.

One such technology is augmented reality. When thinking about AR, many people jump directly to the idea of gamification. And that’s valid, but there’s more to AR than that. Case in point: By the fall of 2021, after nearly two years of pandemic seclusion, everything in life was starting to feel virtual. VMware knew that its annual VMworld conference would also have to be virtual, but the company wanted it to feel real, relevant, and innovative. The design of the event needed to match the boldness of its theme, “Imagine That.”

Our idea? Shoot it outside. On the company campus. At night. The architecture, the landscape, the light, the color, the darkness—they would all give the event a tactile feeling. And we could connect virtual, projection-mapped worlds and the real world with a ribbon of light that traveled between them.

But the viability of designing a physical stage, practical and decorative lights, and space for all the surrounding filmmaking requirements was a huge challenge.

To help us find the most ideal spot to build the stage and proactively solve complications, 1P used Augmented Reality. We modeled our set, loaded it into Adobe Aero, and were able to place it in various places on the campus with an iPad camera. It was way too big, and the fact that it didn’t fit any of the spaces was a real eye opener.

The second time we placed our sets into the virtual space, it fit perfectly, but we forgot about a lamp post and had to modify the design to account for it. Imagine the hassle if we found that out when we installed the set?

Scale is often something you don’t think about until you are face to face with it. When designing something truly enormous, it’s easier to imagine perspective than it is to actually “get it.” Oftentimes there’s a need for a reality check—and “augmented” is the solution.

Our clients were having difficulty grasping how the scale of the giant display project we were building would affect the details of its design, so 1P used Augmented Reality to place a right-sized wall within a context that immediately made sense. In this case, we put it in a back alley:

Now the needs for virtual plaque design and readability became immediately understandable—and everyone could move forward on the same page.

Let’s take this concept a step further: You’re building something in AR and you want to see what your design looks among real architecture. The ideal situation? Design, test, repeat. If you combine AR glasses equipped with built-in cameras with spatial tracking, you can more easily anchor your virtual design in real outdoor spaces:

Through persistent global data and cloud anchors, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this.

Or—depth can go the other way. Reading is already a portal to other worlds, but AR and receding layers of depth can make that idea come alive even more, allowing you to feel like you’re actually sinking into a book’s unfathomable inner reaches:

It’s very possible, in fact, that future generations will say the quaintest thing about us is that we differentiated physical and virtual reality.

The Story at the Center blog shares insights and strategies that have helped organizations—from startups to Fortune 100s—harness the power of storytelling to navigate complexities and dominate their markets.

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