What is AR?

24th June 2021

AR stands for Augmented Reality, and is where Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) interacts with a real world environment through a camera lense. Augment means to increase, build upon or add to, and so Augmented Reality is an altered reality. Where a virtual reality is a complete environment made up of entirely digital imagery, augmented reality is only partially virtual. 
It's one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now, with big tech giants like Facebook and Google investing billions upon billions into it, so that one day we might not have to access AR effects through a phone, but instead through a pair of AR enabled glasses. Information and entertainment in our vision instead of on our phone. Here's to the future, eh?
This article is full of examples of Augmented Reality applications, listing some of our favourite uses of it within the music industry and the wider creative fields. Keep checking back for updates as this technology takes over the world...

AR Instruments

Build an orchestra, learn to play piano or even create unlimited patches inside a virtual synthesiser. AR means you can place a instrument - real or not - in your camera / on your phone and have a play! Anything is possible with the unique functionality and increased tactility of AR technology.




AR Album Covers

AR Album covers are growing quickly in popularity. It enables fans to scan artworks with their phones - both physical vinyls/ CDs or digital album covers - adn expose new content. This could be an animation of the artwork, or even an exclusive interview with the artist.  Large record labels like Polydor are releasing AR Album Artwork so you can further interact with music experiences. 


AR Fashion

Digitally enhance your wardrobe... Fashion designers and AR developers are collaborating on digital clothes that people can try on using their camera! It might be difficult to tell real from digital in the future, but for now it works as an innovative fashion statement.


AR Performances

We are starting to see more and more performance based AR effects. Check out this one from Sam Smith where fans head to a website and can have a small digital Sam Smith dancing on their table.  I don't know about you, but i'll always remember that dance now...


AR People

You can capture people digitally using a variety of methods, and then place them as part of an AR effect! Back when events were a thing, U2 implemented a huge AR version of Bono into their performances. ‘Hidden’ content like this gives fans something to look for, engage with and offers an overall enhanced live performance.



AR Filters

By now we've all seen these on social media, and without doubt our favourite AR filter has to go to Glass Animals. They paint a vivid picture of their brand and offer you the chance to go on a journey through their hazy pastel world with them.








AR Portals

AR Portals are where you place a digital door in a live camera image to give the user access to a digital world..  Viewers can 'walk' between a totally fictional AR world and their actual environment.  Imagine you find a secret QR code that unlocks the door to a digital world... This example by Phoria is a polished example of how immersive Augmented Reality can get. 





AR Statements

AR is the perfect medium to make a statement and stand out from the crowd. Easily shareable, interactive and totally bespoke, they are the perfect format for spreading a message in the modern world. Our ‘Let us Dance’ filter from February 2021 (mid-Covid) was designed to unite the world of music lovers in our joint frustration in not being able to dance. We're all going through the same thing together! 


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