Augmented reality has been struggling to attract major institutions. This year marks a major shift with big names using AR, such as MoMA and Coachella.
How can this new technology enhance user experience? Is it tech-savvy enough to make it to a long run? Here are some ways AR is very likely to change the way we see arts.
At Coachella, AR drove traffic
This year’s Coachella’s main lead might not have been Baychella, after all. Augmented reality was on all smartphones, as the festival designed several apps. Display the Oasis by Brooklyn-based Katie Stout was the most popular one. It enabled the visitors to see virtual waterfalls on their screens. “It feels like you are in the ocean, walking on the floor of the sea like you’re a little piece of plankton,” Stout shared to Press Entreprise. She added Coachella was a unique opportunity “to make something this large, that does not actually exist”.
Other augmented reality installations, such as Meta, designed by LA-based Adam Ferriss displayed Polaroid-like frames for users’ photos. He launched a second app called Ditto that let users draw virtual ribbons. “I’m most interested in making tools and enabling expression,” Ferriss said on Coachella’s website.
As a result, not only the apps drove traffic, but they pushed tremendous engagement. 2018 was the most traffic-engaging Coachella edition ever. It was mentioned almost six million times across channels.
As well as living arts, museums have felt the trend coming too. MoMA is bringing millennials to the museum through a VR app.
At the MoMA, Millenials are coming for AR
With the launch of Google Arts and Culture, museum revenues have plummeted. Back in January, the Met announced the entrance would now cost $25, instead of a free donation.
MoMA has been working on another strategy: letting the digital go in.
MOMart is a smartphone app that allows you to see Jackson Pollock’s paintings from a new angle. Once a canvas scanned with your phone, an “art guerilla” appears on the screen.
“When you think that art defines our cultural values, you also accept that those values are defined by the elite,” said MoMAR co-founder Damjan Pita to Wired.
MoMA has not wished to comment this very new project. Probably due to some hackings reports on AR art earlier this year.
Copyrights regulation: AR next step
Last January, Jeff Koons AR Snapchat work was ‘vandalized’, as TechCrunch reported. Graffiti artist Sebastien Errazuriz raised copyright questions. In fact, AR is said to be the future of advertising, 0ffering a fourth dimension for corporations to publicize.
Errazuriz wonders if “corporations should be allowed to place whatever content they choose over our digital public space. Central Park belongs to the city of NY. Why should corporations get to geo-tag its GPS coordinates for free?”. As a matter of fact, Augmented reality is currently not regulated in the public space.
However, some AR companies have already found a way to get around possible restrictions. They only sell AR content on private space. Blippar, for example, sells content on products packagings, such as Heinz’ ketchup bottles or Cadbury’s chocolate bars wrapping papers.
The American Bar Association is currently working on a law project for AR, under the intellectual property law section.