USA TODAY today launched “Oscars AR: The costumes and creators,” its first entertainment augmented reality (AR) experience ahead of the 91st Academy Awards, offering audiences a unique up-close and personal look at the costume designs and their creators from major nominated films.
The collaboration between the award-winning USA TODAY emerging technology team and USA TODAY Life team gives viewers exclusive and direct access to hear from Oscar-nominated designers from “Mary Poppins Returns,” “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman.” USA TODAY worked directly with each of the designers to tell the story of their costumes and their experiences on set, with an interactive, 360-degree look at the pieces through AR.
In this experience, the emerging technology team pushed the boundaries of innovative storytelling using the latest photogrammetry techniques to capture and create each costume. The team worked closely with the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, collaborating with the 27th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design team and its engineers to shoot each costume and bring the AR experience to life for USA TODAY’s audience.
The interactive Oscars experience quickly follows USA TODAY’s first 2019 AR release in January, an experience featuring Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson with audio narration by him discussing his career as a professional hockey player. The continuation with the release of the Oscars AR experience reflects the USA TODAY NETWORK’s commitment to experimenting with emerging technologies and immersive formats to engage audiences in new and different ways. More than a dozen emerging technology projects are currently in the pipeline for 2019.
“Unlike many other AR experiences, our goal wasn’t to use AR to tell part of the story. Our AR experience is the story,” said Ray Soto, Director of Emerging Tech, USA TODAY NETWORK. “Nothing demands a more up close and personal look than the incredibly detailed and awe-inspiring designs of this year’s Oscar costume nominees. With multiple layers of interactivity between the user and the costume designers, audiences can glean an almost one-on-one experience with the creators of their favorite costumes from these Oscar nominated films.”
“Our access to the Oscar-nominated costumes and designers is what makes this such a one of a kind experience. Partnering with the emerging tech team has enabled us to truly bring the Oscars to life and into the hands of our readers.” said Alison Maxwell, Managing Editor, USA TODAY Life. “Between the exclusive sound bites with the designers, user interactivity and detailed narration from our reporters, we’re taking storytelling to the next level. I’m excited to see how readers will respond.”
To view the Oscars AR experience, download the latest version of the USA TODAY mobile app, and click to view on Android and iOS devices or find within the Life section.