Blastosphere: AR Fashion

I’ve been playing around with Augmented Reality for a decade now, so I was excited but hardly surprised to see this New Yoirk show, “Blastosphere: Digital Art Becomes 3D Fashion”.

I was not surprised because I know that the research prototypes for this were first done before the turn of the century, and I have had had my own dreams of doing things like this.

I haven’t seen the NY show in person, so I’m basically inferring what it is from the web. (If you go to this and want to tell me about, I’d like to hear what it was really like.)

Basically, there is a mobile app (from REIFY), that projects animated 3D graphics onto the garment. The mobile device acts as a “magic mirror” (see “Understanding Augmented Reality” by Alan Craig), revealing the special content.

Congratulations, You’ve Reached the End by Tara Sinn. Model: NEW INC Staff, Alexandra Darby

Coolness factors:

  1. the garment works in any case, but if you have the magic app, there is extra. The dog dances, but only if you have the special invocation.
  2. The magic only works when you are there together!
  3. Each garment can be different. There are at least three different magical garments, but everyone could be unique.

There are other cool features of this particular product. The content comes from the NewHive online system, which is totally virtual, But the event is set in a physical gallery: there is a place to go, where something special happens. The digital content is made local and “now”.

The latter is cool, because it puts the art into a context where you get dressed up, take a date, have some drinks, be seen. All the good stuff that can make viewing artworks a lot more fun that just flipping through a digital catalog.

Furthermore, when you get one of the augmented garments, you are taking one of the 3D animations off the gallery wall and wearing it. A significant souvenir of the occasion—taking the art/fashion home, but also carrying an active, magical artwork into the world (but only for those who have the magical key to experience it)!

This really only scratches the surface of what might be done.  For one thing, the AR can be designed to recognize not just one magic garment, but, say, that garment standing in front of a specific poster:  in this case, different, place specific magic happens.  Or the AR might be keyed to do something special when it sees two of the garments together.  When you dance with your sweetie, Unicorns dance with you–at least in the magic mirror.

And so on.


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