Explore an AR cave and dance with holograms in this bizarre musical experience.
Fans of Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) are in for a treat today as the prolific hip-hop/R&B artist releases his new app PHARO AR. Available now on compatible Android devices (coming soon to iOS), PHAROS AR is a mind-bending augmented musical experience that takes you on a journey through an AR portal into a colorful augmented cave filled with hidden glyphs to discover and holograms to rave with.
Built on Google’s ARCore platform, the experience features a series of immersive layers, allowing you to explore deeper into the Childish Gambino universe by finding all the glyphs scattered throughout your real-world environment. Of course, you’re free to hunt down these special items yourself, although the experience does allow you to team up with others for a shared immersive experience.
If that weren’t enough, the experience features a previously unreleased song called Algorithm which, until now, had only been available to hear during live performances. You can access the track by pointing your camera at each hidden glyph, which will then activate individual spatial audio samples that—when combined—create the full song in its entirety.
Based on these recent immersive projects and several of his live performances, it’s clear that Glover finds satisfaction in blending music with cutting-edge technology.
This past February, Glover made his AR debut with the release of his very own interactive Playmoji character for Google Pixel’s Playground platform. Using their smartphone camera to project a 3D animated rendition of the artist in real-world locations, users are able to dance alongside the This is America star, who will actually respond and react to the user’s actions in real-time.
Before that, Glover released a trippy VR recreation of his three-day concert event at Joshua Tree, complete with a series of cosmic visuals and massive, laser-firing titans. Whether it be VR or AR, it’s encouraging to see popular mainstream talent putting time and energy into immersive technology.
PHAROS AR is available for free on compatible Android devices via the Google Play Store. An official iOS release is planned, although no concrete launch date has been provided.