The Mirage

29Rooms x Spark AR

Public installation

L.A. & N.Y. 2019

A phygital space exploring the power of perception and illusion through a multitude of dimensions.

Designed for 29Rooms in collaboration with Spark AR for Facebook, The Mirage is a multi-room installation with AR activations, that toured in Los Angeles and New York in late 2019.

Developed alongside the 29Rooms production team and tech collaborator The Mill, The Mirage’s concept is based on the natural phenomena of our visually-lead instincts quantifying something as tangibly real, that on closer inspection may not be as it first appeared, challenging our perception of the physical versus the virtual.

Four individual characters were built for the conceptually-driven narrative that each represent an illusion or mirage that exists in the natural world, ranging from evolved camouflage, to alchemic oases and challenging the human eye’s cognizance through trompe l'oeil. 

With Instagram acting as a scannable guide through the space, the user journey reveals The Mirage’s  characters in two phases across several rooms, with a mural reveal to finish.

Each character is depicted through still image, sculpture and AR formats within the user journey. 
The AR activations are triggered by visual targets, some visible, some hidden, some unexpected.

The Mirage invites an audience who are increasingly making digital documentation part of their event experiences, to explore the relationship between the physical and the virtual.

Augmented Reality acts as a tool to merge these worlds, heightening the importance of touch as both a sense and a metaphor.

Working within the Spark AR software provided the opportunity of innovation through creative problem solving within it’s constraints, pushing the limits of both established and emerging technologies to produce light-weight but beautiful AR moments.

The detailed imagery that triggers the AR activations, signifies a new age for scannable assets traditionally known as QR codes.

Several tracking techniques that hadn’t been explored before in AR were incorporated into the space, with targets including a light source, projected imagery, and a spinning image.

The Mirage tour received over 26,000 attendees, with over 20,000 organic social engagements leading to an estimated 10 million social impressions.


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