Some of the greatest minds in science have been hidden across the country. It’s up to you and your smartphone to find them all.
In an extremely unique attempt at promoting the recently-released feature film Hidden Figures, IBM and The New York Times Company have scattered several great scientific thinkers throughout the United States for users to discover and engage with. The Outthink Hidden project seeks to inform users of some of history’s greatest minds including engineers, doctors and of course the subject of the film, influential mathematicians.
Using the oddly-named smartphone app T Brand Studio AR, available on both IOS & Android, users can visit 150 different sites across 10 cities to discover the 10 underappreciated historical figures featured at each of the different locations. These important influencers include everyone from the film’s protagonists Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan as well as several other leaders in various fields. The app includes map functionality to help users find the select locations, as well as biographies for each subject that dig further into their respective accomplishments.
The truly interesting part however is the augmented reality capabilities of the application. Users can point their phones at QR codes placed at the designated locations to reveal a full 3D rendition of one of the scientific geniuses featured in the app. So long as you’re able to keep the QR code within the sights of the phone’s camera, you can walk around, lean in and take pictures of the statue. The app also plays audio giving you more information about the subject as you observe the hidden figure. Wait a second.. hidden figure.. Oh my god I just got it!
According to IBM branded content head manager Jacelyn Swenson, the T Brand Studio AR app will remain on the App Store and Google Play Store indefinitely, though the QR codes revealing the 3D models will be removed from their locations by March. If for some reason you can’t make it to one of the locations, you can check out crude versions of the historical figures by loading the QR codes directly on your browser.
“Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big” via 20th Century Fox.
Image Credit: Hopper Stone/20th Century Fox