Forever21 and Augmented Reality

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fashion brand called Forever21 has just launched a massive augmented reality billboard in Times Square. Great way to use Augmented Reality and engage with the users and what great place than Times Square.


Designed by interactive agency Space150 for Forever 21, the billboard features a model walking in front of an image of the crowd below. And then it gets interesting: The model occasionally leans over, and appears to pluck someone out of the crowd. Sometimes, they stink, so she tosses them. Sometimes she kisses them, and they turn into a frog. And sometimes, she drops them in her bag and happily trots off. At one point, the model takes a Polaroid of the crowd, shakes it out, and brandishes it in front of her--showing off a zoomed-in image of the people below.

The billboard relies on technology that's usually used in government or security surveillance, and Space150 had to consult surveillance experts to pull it off. Above the 61-foot-high face a high definition Prosilica camera captures the crowd. But then, software picks apart the individuals in the crowd, and selects some for a digital composite built in real-time, which is then used in the interactions with the virtual model on screen.

The software even picks up the yellow of the Forever 21 bag, so that anyone holding one is more likely to get noticed by the model. (If someone actually goes into the store, there are now heat sensors that detect them, and cause a bunch of flash bulbs surrounding the threshold to go off, simulating dozens of paparazzi.)

Times Square Billboard by Space150 from Cliff Kuang on Vimeo.