AR Takes Center Stage At SXSW 2020

The annual festival will debut new AR experiences from Magic Leap, Intel, and director Virginia Galloway.

Attendees of the SXSW Trade Show in Austin, TX will be the first to experience the next phase of movie and concert entertainment powered by cutting-edge AR technology.

Here are just a few of the wild experiences festival-goers can expect!

Magic Leap’s The Last Light

The first is The Last Light, an AR film powered by the Magic Leap One headset. This new approach to immersive cinema uses spatial computing to tell a story about the special bond between a young woman named Kayah and her beloved grandmother.

When you put on the AR glasses, you see Kayah and her grandmother’s story unfold through personal family moments brought to life on a virtual stage. We follow Kayah as she travels back home to face a particularly difficult situation and explores old childhood memories in order to deal with her grief. The experience explores their relationship in a way that only AR can deliver, allowing you to weave in and out of different moments in their lives and witness just how important their bond is.

The Last Light was written and directed by Magic Leap’s Creative Director, Jeramy Vanhoozer, who also directed Magic Leap experiences Undersea and Create.

Vanhoozer tweeted his excitement about the project saying, “Well, now it is out there…our latest project at Magic Leap Studios, which I was lucky enough to write and direct, is going to World Premiere at SXSW,” adding, “ I am really proud of this story and my team.” 

Intel’s Superhuman AR

SXSW will also feature the debut of a new AR performance that will bring the very popular South Korea-based boy group NCT 127 to Austin, TX through an amazing experience called Superhuman AR, offering fans of the band and music, in general, a sneak peek at the potential future of live musical performances.

Using the companies incredible 10,000 square-foot volumetric capture facility, Intel will capture a performance of NCT 127 futuristic synth hit, “Superhuman“, which will then be transformed into an interactive AR experience you can access through your smartphone or tablet. 

Superhuman AR starts with a virtual spaceship entering your real-world space. Members of NCT 127 then exit the craft to dazzle you with their catchy music and incredible dance choreography. You are able to explore every angle of the stage, zoom in on your favorite NCT 127 band member, and even get a close-up view of their dance steps in this incredible interactive AR experience.

To bring Superhuman AR to life, the head of Intel Studios, Diego Prilusky, turned to the talents of audio-spatial expert Jinooya Makes to work with the group and direct a unique AR experience that would be worthy of all the hype behind the band. 

Hiraeth audio AR experience

There is a slew of amazing AR and VR experiences scheduled during SXSW Film as part of the Virtual Cinema Program

Award-winning director Virginia Galloway will be at the festival to present her experimental immersive audio project Hiraeth, where you explore how we as humans connect with sound and highlighting our primal connection to Earth’s quiet places. Galloway’s multi-sensory journey reminds you of what you are apart of—not apart from—in the natural world.

The audio-driven AR experience is being described as a “sonic love letter” to people and the planet, and is one you absolutely should not miss. 

Her recent producing credits include Akasha by Ora Systems and Ocean of Air by Marshmallow Laser Feast at Saatchi Gallery London.

Everything else AR and VR at SXSW

Experiences from Bose, who debuted their audio AR glasses during the 2018 SXSW Festival, and the SXSW Art Program are scheduled at two different locations: JW Marriott and Griffin Hall. You’ll also find hands-on demos of AR and VR experiences and tech throughout the rest of the SXSW Trade Show.

SXSW Film begins on March 13th in Austin, TX. Badges are available now.

Image Credit: SXSW, LLC

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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