You create a universe by perceiving it. ~ Douglas Adams
This Sunday, I was at the RCity Mall to watch ‘Tumhari Sulu‘. Just as we were about to enter the INOX cinema hall, I saw a small crowd in front of a huge screen which was playing the live recording of people standing in front of it. Most of them were looking at the screen and were clicking or recording pictures. I looked up at the screen to see what was going on. On the screen, I could see a person wearing a spacesuit standing among the crowd. When I looked around, there was no such character. I looked at the screen again. This time I saw a pool in front of the crowd. A large polar bear walked over its edge, and it started doing somersaults. This was funny! As the polar bear went out, dolphins popped their heads out of the pool. The dolphins were followed by a huge dinosaur that stopped to bare its pointed teeth. Gosh! There were some flying Tyrannosauruses too.
Without wasting time, I also took out my phone and started recording the proceedings on the screen. Here, have a look.
Augmented Reality at INOX RCity
The children were going crazy to see all these photo-realistic 3D characters around themselves on the screen. It appeared like we were standing in the middle of the Jurassic Park. Obviously, a number of people stood glued to the screen at any point in time.
Welcome to the world of augmented reality.
INOX has unveiled Asia’s first-ever Augmented Reality (AR) experience in the multiplex at R City in Mumbai.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances our perception of reality by superimposing computer-generated images, video or graphics over our view of the real world. Elements from the virtual combine with the physical world to create an immersive experience that augments people’s perception of the real world. For example, the 3D simulated virtual dinosaurs appeared to be with us in the mall (real world)
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality is different from Virtual Reality. Whereas, in Virtual Reality, people interact with computer-generated environments that replace their real world, Augmented Reality adds to the present reality rather than replacing it.
Augmented Reality came into the mainstream with Pokemon Go, the game in which people went searching for virtual Pokemon that were placed in real locations.
Use of Augmented Reality technology by Lifestyle brands
With the use of Augmented Reality, furniture companies and other lifestyle brands are helping potential buyers make smarter decisions by allowing them to virtually try out their products at their home or in their own settings. People are more likely to buy something when they see it or try it, even if it is virtual.
Moviegoers can now capture their AR experience as photos or videos and share on social media, which is likely to attract others to the halls.
While going out, we saw a group of people standing at the centre of a podium facing a screen at a kiosk. They were being virtually transported back in time to 350 BC., where they found themselves receiving a warm welcome in the kingdom of Porus, and then saw his army preparing to defend them against Alexander’s army. You would have guessed that it was a promotion campaign for Sony TV’s upcoming magnum opus Porus. This was closer to Virtual Reality.
Such fascinating, immersive experiences in cinema-quality 3D animations through which the audience can get up-close and personal with magnificent characters and creatures are bound to pull them back to the cinema halls and the mall.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein
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