The Hollywood Walk of Fame is neat, but those are just bricks. This is the story of a classic rock band, a music promoter, and an AR experience bringing music history to Camden.
The AR Experience
Camden Town, a neighborhood of Northwest London, is one of the wonders of the music world. It’s one of the most popular areas of London among locals and tourists alike, but it lacked a certain something. That something just might be what Arcade co-founder Alex Book called “a musical equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
“(The Music Walk of Fame) was conceived of by a music promoter named Lee Bennett more than ten years ago and he’s been trying to bring it to life ever since,” said Book. After all, one can’t just go about tearing up London sidewalks to install monuments. “The one benefit of the amount of time that it has taken for him to bring his idea to fruition is that the technology has advanced.”
The walk currently consists of two plaques, a “founding stone” and one dedicated to The Who in a ceremony in November. The stones are handsome in their own right but viewed through an iOS app, the stones launch an AR experience. Rings on the stones rise and become items in a 3D menu. Visitors can then use the app to view archived performances.
How It All Came Together
Located in London, Arcade is quickly becoming the talk of the Swinging City. They’ve previously worked with the City of London, and the Roald Dahl Museum. The last time they checked in with us at ARPost, they were working on an AR experience for the Welsh National Opera.
While a lot of planning went into The Walk on Bennett’s part, Arcade’s involvement was – perhaps too humbly – attributed to luck by Book.
“It was a good, old-fashioned bit of fortune on our end,” said Book. “We popped up on a search very happily and they got in touch with us.”
Once Arcade and Bennet were on the phone it became a matter of deciding what the augmented reality experience should be. Book and his team at Arcade were determined that the experience shouldn’t be too gimmicky.
“Clearly, there is that perception of AR as a visual medium but the ability to engage with sound can be quite profound,” said Book. “We’re really interested, as an agency, to explore that further and further.”
And they’ll have that opportunity – acts are to be honored for at least the next 20 years. As more and more musical acts are represented, more and more fans will be engaged.
“What we’re hoping is that the ambition, and therefore, the budget will increase,” said Book. “For now, it really feels as though we’ve only been exploring the tip of the iceberg.”
Another Piece of Music History
While The Music Walk of Fame might not be an AR experience near you, it’s definitely a groundbreaking use case. London vacation, anyone?