The British rock band Pink Floyd was experimenting with visuals for decades before “augmented reality” was in the common parlance. However, it’s finally caught up with them in the form of a mobile web-based AR experience.
Creating the AR Experience
Earlier this month, Sony Music Entertainment released a comprehensive 18-disk box set titled The Later Years. The collection explores the band’s work since 1987, and includes never-before-released recordings.
To increase anticipation, Sony teamed up with Draw & Code, a British XR studio. To make the experience as accessible as possible, D&C and Sony used WebAR platform 8th Wall. The platform allows users to create AR experiences accessible through web browsers rather than dedicated apps.
This actually accomplishes a number of things. It allows companies to create AR experiences faster and less expensively than they could if they needed to create an app. It also allows users to access the experiences on less advanced mobile devices and without worrying about storage. And, as we’ll see below, it also makes the experience more social.
The system also has its drawbacks. For one, it requires that you be connected to the internet. It also means that the internet connection – as well as the quality of your device, can hold the experience back. When testing out the experience – and geeking out as a Floyd fan – I ran into problems when I tried to take it outside. Granted, I could overcome those problems by switching my data on.
Experiencing the AR Creation
The Later Years AR experience, PFLaterYears.com, gives users the choice of five pieces of iconic album art. Once selected, the album art appears in the camera view. It doesn’t appear as static images but as animations that play out before your eyes.
“Exploring the world of Pink Floyd has been a blast. Not only are they one of the finest bands of all time, they have always experimented with creative, visual concepts to expand upon the music – augmented reality sits well in the mediums they have embraced,” Draw & Code co-founder Andy Cooper said in a release shared with ARPost.
Icons on the bottom of the screen make it easy to switch between experiences. As each one plats out, the user is able to take screenshots of their AR experience. Because the experience is based in mobile web, it’s easy to share or download the images.
Approachable AR in Marketing
The Later Years AR experience is a fun photo op for Floyd fans. It’s also part of a trend toward marketing groups doing everything that they can to create immersive experiences. More importantly, the trend to get those experiences into as many hands as possible.