Dropping New Kicks in AR
Here we are in 2019 and the promise of flying cars and robots that cook for us still seem like a distant pipe-dream. Technology may not reward us with exactly what we imagine the future to be but in some cases, it could more than exceed our expectations. As is the case for AR, a technology medium we’ve become very familiar with over the years. A medium that turns your mobile device into a window through to another world or enables interaction in a reality just out of sight but existing in our world. It’s come a long way over the years but this latest project for Adidas was going to blow open the doors on what AR truly means for retail and experiential events.
Our friends over at Jam3 had this gig with Adidas where they wanted to implement an event-based AR campaign that would be used as an Augmented Reality shoe drop for the upcoming ComplexCon. Typically, shoe drops are always event-based affairs with athletes and a few of the new shoes that lucky attendees would be the first to get their hands on. In this case, by utilizing AR, the drops would be reveals within a physical cube suspended over the heads of attendees. At specific times, users were directed on custom apps to point their phones up to the cube and watch as the AR content opened the cube and revealed the latest kicks.
Designing for a New Perspective
Coupling this AR reveal with physical content was the real trick and developing AR content that could be updated and presented at a moments notice was the backbone behind the work we contributed to the campaign. With knowledge in developing AR content, we knew what the limitations were and how to develop a package that could be flexible enough for adjustments on the fly.
Our processes involved a back and forth with Jam3 and our own internal development team working with our design and animation teams to create content that looked good and performed even better. Streaming performance and reliability were a big consideration here so all of our content had to go through a rigorous testing process in our own AR setup.
At ComplexCon, attendees amassed under the giant floating cube to be the first to catch a glimpse of the shoe drops in this AR environment. In total, there were 8 shoe drops, each with their own design and content. In an event that is packed with top shoe vendors vying for attention, having the upper hand with an AR experience certainly seemed to have made an impact for Adidas.
The Content and The Target
The trigger cube was a large static cube suspended from the ceiling. Attendees were instructed to download an app and when instructed in the app, they were told to hold their phones up to the trigger cube and watch as it animates open to reveal the next killer shoe. A process not dissimilar to shoe drops without AR but certainly one that makes the experience more engaging to a technologically savvy audience.
Quick AR testing and implementation gave us the ability to see content in the context of a user standing there at the convention holding up their phone. These demonstration captures let us test for scale, resolution, and animation pacing. Creating content for AR is all about directing the user’s eye in their own space and designing for everyone’s perspective.