USA Today creates AR experience for Oscars film costumes

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American newspaper USA Today has created an augmented reality (AR) experience that will give users access to costumes and outfits from Oscar-nominated films.

Oscars AR: The costumes and creators is USA Today’s second AR project of 2019, and has been launched ahead of the 91st Academy Awards.

The collaboration between the Gannett Company-owned USA Today emerging technology and USA Today Life teams gives viewers exclusive and direct access to the works of Oscar-nominated designers from Mary Poppins Returns, The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots, Bohemian Rhapsody,“Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman.

USA Today worked directly with each of the designers to tell the story of their costumes and their experiences on set, with an interactive, 360-degree look at the pieces through AR.

According to USA Today, its emerging technology team pushed the boundaries of innovative storytelling using the latest photogrammetry techniques to capture and create each costume.

The team worked closely with the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, collaborating with the 27th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design team and its engineers to shoot each costume and bring the AR experience to life for USA Today’s audience.

The interactive Oscars experience quickly follows USA Today’s first 2019 AR release in January, an experience featuring Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, with his audio narration discussing his career as a professional hockey player. More than a dozen emerging technology projects are currently in the pipeline for the rest of this year.

“With multiple layers of interactivity between the user and the costume designers, audiences can glean an almost one-on-one experience with the creators of their favourite costumes from these Oscar nominated films.”

Ray Soto, director of emerging technology at USA Today Network

“Unlike many other AR experiences, our goal wasn’t to use AR to tell part of the story. Our AR experience is the story,” commented Ray Soto, director of emerging technology at USA Today Network.

“Nothing demands a more up close and personal look than the incredibly detailed and awe-inspiring designs of this year’s Oscar costume nominees. With multiple layers of interactivity between the user and the costume designers, audiences can glean an almost one-on-one experience with the creators of their favourite costumes from these Oscar nominated films.”

Alison Maxwell, managing editor of USA Today Life, added: “Our access to the Oscar-nominated costumes and designers is what makes this such a one of a kind experience. Partnering with the emerging tech team has enabled us to truly bring the Oscars to life and into the hands of our readers.”

“Between the exclusive sound bites with the designers, user interactivity and detailed narration from our reporters, we’re taking storytelling to the next level. I’m excited to see how readers will respond.”

To view the Oscars AR experience, download the latest version of the USA Today mobile app, and click from mobile devices to view on Android and iOS or find within the USA Today Life section.