New Yorker AR Experience Uses AI To Unlock The Thoughts Of Inanimate Objects

Dive into the mind of random objects via The New Yorker apps new AR feature.

Ever wonder what the banana in your kitchen might be thinking?

“Animate Objects” is the latest feature available in the New Yorker app that uses AI and AR to unlock the secret thoughts of everyday inanimate objects and display them for the user via an animated thought bubble.

To unlock these quirky thoughts, you’ll need to get up and explore. Using the app, users can view a list of sentient objects within their vicinity; this could include a bookcase, a slice of pizza, lipstick, or a street sign!

Once the app has recognized an object, you’ll see a notification telling you to tap on the item in order to liberate its inner thoughts. You can even snap a photo and send it to your mom–or anyone else in your contact list–as well as social media.  

Image Credit: The New Yorker

Each animation was drawn by cartoonist, Liana Finck, who is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The Awl, and Catapult, and was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She has also been awarded a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, with her first book, A Bintel Brief which was published in 2014.

Her unique drawing style steers each experience in a direction that gives each individual object their own personality in a way that feels relatable; your wallets actually know how you feel each time you take it out of your pocket or bag.

On top of Finck’s animations, the app also uses your smartphone speakers to give you a fun jazzy soundtrack to bop along with as you walk around seeking out sentient items. As you find items, not only will you get Finck’s animation, but you’ll also get a ridiculous voiceover or goofy sound effects provided by comedians such as Erik Bergstrom, Karen Chee, Ziwe Fumudoh, Rachel Pegram, Gary Richardson, Blythe Roberson, Colin Stokes, and Zach Zimmerman. 

Image Credit: The New Yorker

This is not the first time The New Yorker has used AR to give their readers a little something extra. In 2016, the publication turned to artist Christoph Niemann to turn the front and back cover of their May 16 issue into a fun interactive AR experience, where Niemann’s drawings jumped out from the pages and into your real-world.

The New Yorker’s “Animate Objects” AR feature is a lot of fun and will have you looking at inanimate objects much differently. You might even find yourself thinking twice before taking a bite out of your hot dog.

To check out The New Yorker’s “Animate Objects” AR feature, simply download the latest version of their app on your iOS device.

Feature Image Credit: The New Yorker

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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