Augmented reality window art coming to Calgary's streets

Nov 17 2017, 6:41 pm

Downtown Calgary shop windows will be getting a makeover this December, and it’ll be more than just a bit of paint.

The Northern Reflections Window Exhibition will allow Calgarians a chance to immerse themselves in the festive artwork, as each window will have augmented reality (AR) aspects to go alongside the display.

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Using technology similar to that in Pokemon Go or SnapChat filters, Downtown Calgary and art collective Buds of Buds will have windows throughout downtown painted and featuring AR graphics.

“We’re using AR to bring paintings to life with animation and sound,” said Katie Pearce, Buds of Buds founding Director, in a release.

“When people go to see the artwork they won’t just be viewing the work, they will be immersed in it – they will actually step into the art and become a part of the work.”

Using the app Augle, Calgarians need only walk up and view the display through their phone to discover the digital additions.

One piece has already been completed at 808 1st Street SW, aptly named “The First Snow.” It is available for people to view and experience in AR, and was created by artist Jennifer Jacoby.


“The First Snow” by Jennifer Jacoby (Buds of Buds)

She said that the inspiration for the painting came from memories of building a snowman with her son, and Calgary’s winter landscape.

“From prairies to peaks, every direction you look in the beauty of winter is present,” said Jacoby in the release. “It’s hard not to be inspired by the winter landscape of Calgary.”

Calgarians will be able to vote for their favourite display once all of them are up starting December 1, and the exhibition will run until December 31.

Northern Reflections Window Exhibition

When: Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 31

Where: In and around Calgary’s downtown core

Admission: Free!

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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