Big Trends for AR? Getting Civilized and Hitting SXSW.


After months in the deep freezer of NYC, we're excited to finally make our way to Austin this weekend for SXSW. Always a great place to scope out new tech and music trends, South By has been leaning heavily on VR the last couple years, with some splashy activations (virtually climbing the wall in a Game of Thrones piece) as well as a theater full of solidly curated pieces. This year's immersive Westworld experience sold out in record time, and we're hearing rumors of some cool mobile AR activations on the ground as well. The Friends With Holograms team will be there on the 11th and 12th -- we've got panels at 1:15 on Sunday and we'll be speaking as part of the NYC Media Lab event at noon on Monday on the East Lawn on the Four Seasons. Additionally, we're booking demo and meeting slots and would love to connect and show you what we've been working on.


The BBC recently launched Civilisations AR, which allows users to view a range of artifacts in 3D. According to a release, "At the heart of the Civilisations AR experience is a core ‘magic spotlight’ feature, which allows users to uncover annotations, audio and imagery that enrich to the story of each exhibit. An X-ray function lets users see through or inside an object, while a restoration feature can be used to rub through the layers of history. Users can browse the exhibition geographically, using an AR globe, or via the themes of the series, as new exhibits will be added as the series progresses." 

This is one of the smartest and most useful AR products we've seen recently. Merely placing an object in a space quickly loses its luster, but this gives users multiple opportunities for interaction and learning, keeping them engaged and excited. 

On the AR front, we're also excited about Google expanding its Lens product to more phones. Image search is the future of search, and this is a great way to create more AR content and get people comfortable with seeing information delivered as an overlay on top of the physical world.


We had a great time talking AR at the Mobile Innovation Summit in NYC last week. Cortney is hosting a talk with VR filmmakers Lily Baldwin and Jessica Brillhart tomorrow night -- alas, it is all sold out, but we're hoping to do another similar event in the future. We'll also be speaking at ISG Future Workplace Summit  on March 27 and at Augmented World Expo at the end of May (exact date TBD). 

Hit us up if you want to learn more or grab some tacos in Austin!