AR holograms could change the way companies handle social media marketing.
Cathy Hackl and You Are Here Labs, an immersive experience lab focused on XR marketing and training, has recently unveiled what they claim is the world’s first holographic press release at the PRSA International Conference this past October. Through a combination of stereoscopic photogrammetry and procedural structure tracking, the companies volumetric capture process generates Alembic 3D data which is then used to create animated AR holographic images.
This allows the company to generate highly-detailed 360-degree and 180-degree holograms which can be shared across various social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Facebook.
We had a chance to speak with both John Buzzell, President of You Are Here Labs, and Ricardo Olivo, Vice President of Innovation Technologies, regarding their refreshing take on conventional press releases and learn a little more about the ambitious project:
If possible, please explain some of the technology behind the project. Was there a specific method of volumetric capture used to render the subject?
“There are aspects of the volumetric capture process that we’re keeping secret for now, but we can share that we are combining stereoscopic photogrammetry and procedural structure tracking to generate Alembic 3D data that we convert compatible format for AR platforms. Our solution is less expensive, quick to deploy, and portable.” – Ricardo Olivo.
What are the overall capabilities of the hologram? Can users circle the subject in 360-degrees? How close exactly can they get to the model without interrupting the program? Are there any plans to implement interactive capabilities?
“Our holographic approach is aimed at physical objects, including people. Once the ‘hologram’ is placed in the world, users can move around it, viewing from any angle and distance. Cathy’s hologram was purposely displayed at 180° or half of the capture in order to meet file size limitations for platforms like Snapchat and Facebook. We are already working to increase what can be done within these limits.” – Ricardo Olivo
What are some of the possible use-case scenarios you think would be popular among companies and clients?
“We see broad application for holograms featuring volcap content on social media. These experiences can be more engaging than flat videos. These can include company announcements, product introductions, education, training, journalism and more. The broader distribution this enables is key. There is a lot of excitement for Augmented Reality and xR commercially, but companies often struggle with the requirement for custom apps or specialized devices needed to view xR. Technology like ours can enable wider use of AR on the platforms people already use heavily, like social media. We are combining real-life content with effortless distribution, and we think it will make a difference.” – John Buzzell
Are there any plans to extend this technology to social media platforms other than Snap and FB? Perhaps Instagram?
“We are committed to making relevant, real-life, volumetrically-captured content available on all AR platforms, and our proprietary process makes this possible. We will be rolling out platform demos steadily over the coming months, including Instagram, as we hope to be granted beta access soon. Watch this space.” – Ricardo Olivo
Are there any companies/brands already on board to utilize the tech?
“The initial response to our ‘Holographic Press Release’ demo has been surprisingly good. While we can’t currently announce any of the deals or discussions, we think the xR industry will be encouraged by the breadth and variety of companies using this tech for marketing, for media, for training, and more.” – Ricardo Olivo
Tell me a little more about You Are Here Labs and the company goal?
“Thanks for asking! We are excited to be one of the growing list of companies producing AR / VR with volumetric capture. While some are rightly focused on capturing reality with the highest quality, we have chosen to focus on portability, affordability, and achieving the greatest reach.”
“This is part of our mission to help people leverage Augmented Reality to engage, to educate, and inspire. You Are Here Labs started in 2012 as an innovation lab serving agency clients. We were doing Augmented Reality and VR for brands, along with experiential tech like projection mapping and immersion rooms as well as mobile game development. As demand for this work increased, we decided to focus on leveraging XR into marketing and training.”
“We’ve been fortunate to have some great client relationships across industries including AT&T, Porsche, Aflac, Ericsson, Hines, National Geographic, Rheem, and NBC Sports. We focus on making meaningful use of this technology, and we have had fun partnering on some really interesting solutions.” – John Buzzell
As Olivo states in in a response above, the team is hard at work bringing their holographic technology to various other forms of social media, beginning first with Instagram as soon as they are given beta access.
Interested in how these holograms actually look on-screen? Open up Snapchat and scan You Are Here’s Snap QR above to check it out yourself!
Image Credit: You Are Here Labs