AR Opera Glasses Could Change Broadway Forever

Immersive technology brings the stage to life like never before.

Students from the South Korean Hongik University have developed a pair of reimagined 19th-century opera glasses that utilize AR technology to immerse spectators in Broadway shows in a variety of unique and imaginative ways. The device is compatible with popular shows such as Wicked, Aladdin, Cats, Mamma Mia, and Frozen.

The René AR glasses feature a handful of unique features designed to enhance live performances. This includes two light ambient sensors capable of projecting AR background effects on-stage in real-time. They can also be used to alter the color of an actor’s costume and visualize live audio spoken during a performance.

As if that weren’t cool enough, there’s an adjustable magnifying glass built into the right lens that allows the wearer to zoom into the performance for a better look. According to the team, the glasses can also be used to guide users to and from their seats, check in for shows, and interact with the cast.

In addition to visuals, René also provides several interesting options for controlling your audio experience. A bone conduction transducer built into the arms of the device allows you to adjust the volume of certain audio elements. Users can select what sounds they’d like to prioritize at any moment, such as music or an actor’s voice.

The René AR glasses can be rented for Broadway performances via the TKTS ticket office. While spectators are required to return the device at the end of the show, they are allowed to keep the custom strap featuring designs based on their respective Broadway shows. Disposable face pads promise a hygienic experience for each wearer.  

“[René] aims to maximize the show experience through AR guidance and check-in to the theater, stage effect, and interaction with visitors,” said the development team, adding, “AR glasses are provided with a dedicated case when renting, and straps provided differently depending on the show you watch can be kept as a souvenir.”

For more information on these next-gen AR glasses visit here.

Image Credit: Jaeyoung Cho

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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