One click to find a unicorn: Balti Virtual brings ImaginARy Friends to quarantine - Technical.ly Baltimore

Creative

May 8, 2020 1:57 pm

One click to find a unicorn: Balti Virtual brings ImaginARy Friends to quarantine

The augmented reality feature brings a 3D unicorn and turtle to a mobile phone.
Turtle friend.

Turtle friend.

(Courtesy photo)

Having human friends over to the house is not advised these days, but what about unicorns?

Balti Virtual has a new way to bring a unicorn or a turtle into the mobile field of view via augmented reality, and it can be done with a click. And, yes, it’s designed specifically for adults.

The 3D ImaginARy Friends can be accessed for free on a mobile device by tapping a link. Here’s the turtle and here’s the unicorn.

Port Covington-based Balti Virtual works with brands, sports stars and institutions on creative and marketing campaigns. The agency also works to bring entry points to virtual and augmented reality — hence, these new virtual pals. Along with enjoying time with the friends at home, there’s also a way to take a photo and share where you’re hanging with them.

“Our hope is these 3D friends can be a source of entertainment for people at home and get them trying out some tech they may have never used before,” said Balti Virtual CEO Will Gee.

Balti Virtual found a unicorn on a roof deck. (Courtesy photo)

Balti Virtual found a unicorn on a roof deck. (Courtesy photo)

There’s also room for a bit more of an instructive side. Gee said the next application will display a 3D model of a lawn mower engine that can come apart to show different components.

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Making access to AR as easy as a tap is also something of a unicorn among technologists in and of itself. Often, experiences one might come upon at an exhibit or on the street require downloading a separate app. Gee said the team combined work across not only 360 and XR, but also with gaming and web technologies to get that process down to a click.

“When you land on the site for the unicorn, it figures out what you’re accessing it with and serve up the right experience for that device,” Gee said.

Given the era of videoconferencing ubiquity in which we’re living, he also sees ways that the technology could be used to add some more friends to Zoom meetings. It’s these kind of “light AR” experiences that can help illustrate something: The company is always thinking about, “How do you bridge the gap between getting someone excited abut the content and having them try it on their own?” Gee said.

Companies: Balti Virtual
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