In the middle of a crime scene

Augmented Reality Billboard

The Dutch Government started an Augmented Reality billboard campaign to raise people’s awareness on crime fighting, moral courage and on how you should act when encountering such a scenario.

A digital billboard is put up in Amsterdam and Rotterdam showing a live feed from the current spot. You can see yourself and wave into the camera/screen. Unfortunately that’s not all what’s going on: a crime/violent scene gets add to the live feed. But you can only watch – the AR is rendering you powerless to act. Even if you wanted you can’t intervene and help. You can only stare or turn away.

I think it’s a great idea to confront people with street violence problems. It ends in educating the passers-by on how they should react in real life situations. All these twisted heads and staring eyes in the video confirm to me that it definitely had an impact. Hopefully not only making people think about the technology (pre-recorded scene on a blue screen, live compositing with the video feed), but also about the social behavior and the role they were forced into and how their behavor would (or wouldn’t) differ if the scene were real… The billboard eventually switches to a short behavior code (Ask others for help, call 911, stay with the victim, …) to conclude.

With this technology you – today – get realistic augmentations and this demo is one of the very few that gives you really the feeling of being there and (almost) not being able to tell the difference between real and virtual. (In contrary to all these low-poly flat-shaded models…)

Take a look!

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