The Hundred Avatars Wins Fan Engagement Award

The prestigious Broadcast Sport Awards took place at London’s Park Lane, and on a very special night for The HundredSky Sports and the entire Avatar team, The Hundred Avatars was victorious in several categories. Of greatest excitement for Arcade was the win in ‘Best Use of Fan Engagement’, which rewarded experiences that ‘put fans at the centre of the action like never before’.

The Hundred Avatars were designed to give fans the chance to ‘Meet the Heroes’ of The Hundred in immersive augmented reality, and marks the first time motion captured avatars have been presented to sports fans at this kind of scale anywhere in the world.

Our thanks go to our partners Sky Sports and the England & Wales Cricket Board for having the courage and belief to invest in this kind of cutting edge innovation, and to Dimension Studio for working tirelessly to produce the 3D avatars themselves, ready for us to offer up to fans via The Hundred and Sky Sports apps, and in WebAR via 8th Wall.

We were thrilled that Sky Sports also won for ‘Best Sports Graphics for a Live Production’, and received the Broadcast Sport Special Recognition award for everything Sky has done for cricket.

To Meet the Heroes yourself download The Hundred app, or visit our 8th Wall project on mobile.

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Munch Named As Finalist In Digital Catapult Awards

We are thrilled that MunchMunch, the immersive arts platform for schools, has been nominated as one of three finalists in the ‘Responsible & Ethical Tech Pioneer’ category at the Digital Catapult Awards 2021.

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre, and one of the loudest and most important voices in supporting and promoting the UK tech industry. They identified Arcade as a future leader as early as 2018, appointing us to their Augmentor programme that year, and have continued to be supportive advocates for us and the entire immersive landscape in the UK.

In early 2020 we were invited to pitch for an incredibly exciting project in which the winning SME would partner with Digital Catapult and Norway’s Munch Museum to create a new immersive tool for schools inspired by the works and artistic philosophies of iconic artist Edvard Munch.

The result was MunchMunch, a fun, exciting creative platform designed for kids aged 7-11 to express themselves in entirely new ways. With MunchMunch, they can take their creations from 2D paper into 3D augmented reality and engage with the physical spaces around them in ways that, we think, Edvard Munch himself would have approved.

The awards ceremony is on November 17th, and you can find out more about the Digital Catapult Awards here.

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Hello, Dani!

Arcade hires are coming thick and fast at the moment, and we are delighted to bring in our first Game Artist, the incredibly talented Dani Verburg! Dani will be based in our Netherlands office, and joins after impressing as a freelance artist on our National Gallery project. You can check out her portfolio here!

Welcome to Arcade, Dani! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Heya! I’m Dani, a Dutch game artist and illustrator! I’ve studied Game Art at the University of Arts located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and gained my Bachelors Degree in Creative Media and Game Technologies there.

What have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

I am proud of my Game Art graduation project, which was an ambitious world building project as a proof of concept for my own action-adventure metroidvania game, as well as research about using colour psychology in visual storytelling.

Stunning work! Now you’re moving to permanent role with us at Arcade, what are you most looking forward to?

Contributing to amazing projects that that give people unique and awesome experiences, as well as the amazing creatively inspiring team!

What excites you most about immersive technologies?

I love how the field of immersive technology is still so full of potential. I’d love to see where it goes in the future and how I can contribute to it as a member of Arcade.

Us too! Can’t wait to start throwing your art into our projects. So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

I love to play video games like ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’ and ‘Hollow Knight’, and watch animated TV-shows like ‘The Owl House’ and ‘Amphibia’. I also love reading!

What sort of music are you likely to put on when you’re in charge of the playlist?

Lots of different things! From ‘Monster Cat’ electro mixtapes to punk rock bands like ‘Nothing But Thieves’, to beautiful video games scores like Gareth Coker’s soundtrack for ‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’.

Yep, you pass! Anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

Don’t be surprised if I suddenly show up in a conference call with an entirely different hair colour. I tend to just go from blue, to pink, to something else entirely unannounced. Keeps the creative energy flowing, ya know?

Fantastic, love a bit of colour around the place. Thanks for talking to us Dani, and welcome again to the team!

If you have any questions for Dani you can check out her various profiles here, or give her a shout at dani@arcade.ltd.

Share Some Sunshine with Lipton Ice Tea

How does an iconic drinks brand that’s all about fun, social connection make a splash during a summer where social interaction isn’t allowed?

We were thrilled to be able to work with our friends at global design agency Design Bridge, on a social media experience linked to the limited edition packs they designed for launch across Europe.

‘Share Some Sunshine’ launched on Instagram and Snapchat and generated hundreds of thousands of interactions in markets including France, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, and was even adapted for launch throughout Middle East.

Check out the full story here, or try it out yourself on Instagram or Snapchat by scanning the codes below!

The Hundred Avatars Shortlisted for Broadcast Sports Awards

We are delighted to announce that The Hundred Avatars have been shortlisted in two categories of the prestigious Broadcast Sports Awards 2021. ‘Best Use of Fan Engagement’ rewards work that ‘puts fans at the centre of the action like never before’ – an apt description of the AR avatars that allowed The Hundred audiences to bring their cricketing heroes into their homes and gardens.

Our partners Sky Sports have also been shortlisted for their presentation of the avatars in the ‘Best Sports Graphics for a Live Production’ category, and for overall ‘Best Sport Production’.

The awards take place on November 3rd – wish us luck!

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Hello, Jagoda and Shahd!

Over the summer we invited several hugely talented Masters students from Goldsmith’s AR/VR MA course to join our Arcade internship programme. After astonishing us with their skills and enthusiasm, we are thrilled to announce that Jagoda Wrobel (Immersive Experience Designer) and Shahd Sherief (AR Developer) have accepted full time offers and are now permanent members of the Arcade team! We thought it might be nice to find out a bit more about them.

Welcome to Arcade, Jagoda and Shahd! Tell us a bit about yourselves.

Shahd Sherief: Hii! I’m Shahd, I’m a Computer Engineer turned AR developer now at Arcade from Egypt!! I got my undergrad at the American University in Cairo, and am doing my masters in AR/VR at Goldsmiths in London!

Jagoda Wrobel: After living my best life in Newcastle for three years studying Graphic Design, I moved down to London to start a new chapter and, like Shahd, gained my Masters in VR & AR at Goldsmiths University.

A pair of Masters – how exciting! So, what have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

JW: While at university I co-created a few small companies with my friends that were recognized and won awards. However, my first full-time position was at the Arcade, and so far the whole experience has been amazing.

SS: Workwise, I am super proud of my academic projects. I love bringing my own ideas to life and I actually have another AR one in the works! The proudest is of my undergraduate thesis which was an AR projection mapping projector that we made from scratch with its own visual scripting interface! Lifewise as pertains to work, I’m most proud that I made the leap to quit my old very technical job that I just couldn’t see myself in, and move to London despite everyone saying it was a bad idea (I am known for those, but this wasn’t one of them).

What do they know?! You’ve made a great choice. What are you most looking forward to, working at Arcade?

SS: I’m most looking forward to being part of working on amazing projects honestly. I get really excited to see cool projects come to life, and feel so proud to know I was a part of that! And also to being a part of the absolutely unanimously wonderful team.

JW: I am looking forward to working on real-life briefs with existing clients alongside the professional team, to carry on exploring the creative possibilities of immersive technologies and create authentic experiences that immerse the audience and make them believe in the moment.

You’ve both spent time studying the immersive space – what excites you most about immersive technologies?

JW: It is exciting to shape the future of one of the fastest-rising industries and bring immersive experiences into everyday life. For now, there is a big knowledge gap when it comes to understanding terms like AR and VR. However, being part of the group that is spreading the awareness to a wider audience and seeing people try these immersive experiences for the first time is pretty awesome.

SS: I love that immersive tech is a relatively new field! It’s very cool to feel like you’re working in a field that you have the possibility to pioneer. What is also super cool, is that you can use XR as a tool to elevate basically most project ideas!

Great answers. So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

SS: I love to play the piano and guitar (as much as I adore London, I’m devastated to have left my piano behind) it’s truly therapeutic to me. I also sometimes write music and poetry!

JW: In my spare time, I like to keep myself busy and active. Usually, I would dance, meet up with my friends or do those two things together and hopefully soon get back on the plan to travel the world.

Music, dancing, poetry, travel – sounds very cool. Speaking of music, what are we going to hear when you’re in charge of the playlist?

JW: I have eclectic playlists that range through all sorts of music. What I listen to depends on my mood and the season of the year. Autumn is usually reserved for some post-summer nostalgia and indie rock.

SS:I’m a huge music snob and have a significant superiority complex when it comes to my music taste. It’s hard to describe so here is a playlist of songs that I decree as being fantastic. Which reminds me, I need to force this on everyone at Arcade in office!

Wow. I’m sensing some intense office debates – bring it on! Before you go, is there anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

JW: I was very proud of my paper aeroplane making skills, which I had a chance to show off at the Arcade away day over the summer! If we ever have to enter some kind of origami competition I think I might be the right person for the job!

SS: Yes, I’m freakishly good at playing PianoTiles. I can play with one hand (trained myself to master it with both left and right) and even one finger. I get all of my best ideas when I play it, and if ever I’m stuck on a piece of code/work I just play PianoTiles for a bit and somehow the solution comes to me. Like I said, I owe my sanity and livelihood to the piano. This may or may not be my way of asking for a Steinway in office.

Well, it’s good to have an outlet! And as for the piano, we’ll definitely add it to the wishlist…! Anyway – thanks to both of you for speaking to us, and welcome again to the Arcade team.

If you have any questions for Shahd or Jagoda you can check out their LinkedIn profiles here and here, follow Jagoda on Twitter here, or give them a shout at jagoda@arcade.ltd or shahd@arcade.ltd.

Hello, Livvy!

Please join us in welcoming our newest Arcade team member, Olivia Hinkin! Livvy joins us as Arcade’s first specialist project manager, and brings a wealth of experience in the immersive space from her time with our friends StoryFutures. Find out more about her background and Eurovision obsession below…

Welcome to Arcade, Livvy! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m excited to be here. I’m a project manager based in Hampshire. I studied for my Masters in Film, TV and Screen Media at Birkbeck in London, and I’ve spent the last few years working on facilitating R&D projects for companies working with immersive and next-generation technologies.

So, what have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

I’ve been fortunate to link up companies with world-leading academics to help them solve challenges for their immersive projects. I’ve worked on projects involving haptic VR sculpting, reducing cybersickness in VR and live AR theatre distribution. It’s really satisfying to help small companies access support which allows them to grow, and I’ve learned a huge amount about immersive along the way.

As one of the beneficiaries, we know how important your work with StoryFutures was! Now that you’ve jumped to the agency side, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of immersive workflows and getting stuck into some of the incredible projects you guys are working on! It seems like things are getting pretty busy so I’m hoping I can help organise and streamline things.

Indeed they are, and we couldn’t be happier to have you on baord to help keep things organised! What excites you most about immersive technologies?

I think it’s easy to forget when you’ve been around immersive for a while how fantastic the reactions are from people who are experiencing VR and AR for the first time. That combined with the accessibility of AR technology means it has the potential to draw in huge audiences and have a big impact, especially around specific locations.

Agreed – hopefully you’ll be able to see lots of those reactions in person soon! So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

I always seem to have one or other DIY project on the go, so you can usually find me painting or varnishing something whilst listening to a true crime podcast. When I’m feeling a bit more chill, I might play some Destiny 2 or go watch a movie with friends.

We might have to get you working on a few office improvements when we get back into one! What sort of music are you likely to put on when you’re in charge of the playlist?

I listen to all sorts of things. I’m partial to Smooth Country FM during the workday, but you’re also likely to find Placebo or Lady Gaga on my playlists.

I think the team will be happy enough with that! Anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

I have a reputation of being a bit obsessed with Eurovision. I hold a big party and sweepstakes every year, and during lockdown I even hosted a virtual version for all my friends and colleagues, complete with powerpoint and voting app! They threw me a Eurovision themed leaving party when I left my last job…

Wow. Well that’s the next Arcade team day sorted then! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, and welcome again to the team!

If you have any questions for Livvy you can check out her LinkedIn profile here, follow her on Twitter here, or give her a shout at livvy@arcade.ltd.

Get Up Close To The Hundred Superstars In AR!

CRICKET GOES IMMERSIVE

The Hundred is a brand new cricket tournament bringing speed, excitement and innovation to England’s summer sport. In partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Sky Sports and Dimension Studio, the Arcade team has been working feverishly for the past few months on creating a world-first in sports fan engagement: augmented reality avatars of The Hundred players that audiences can bring into their homes, gardens or anywhere else they want.

Fans can see their heroes batting, bowling, wicket-keeping and even recreating iconic moments from cricket history, with more players being added throughout the month-long tournament.

The ‘Meet The Players’ experience is available in three different places – The Hundred app, the Sky Sports app and via 8th Wall WebAR – and gives a glimpse of the future of sports engagement.

To learn more about immersive tech in sports

Welcome To The Jim Beam Virtual Bar Where You Are The Bartender

Jim Beam is using web-based augmented reality (WebAR) to turn customers into bartenders where they can mix up their perfect Jim Beam Highball from behind a virtual bar. The experience, which is accessed directly in the mobile browser with no app required, features four virtual bar locations all stocked with Jim Beam varieties, mixers, ice and garnishes.

Customers who access the WebAR experience with their smartphones choose from four different bars including an outdoor patio called Backyard Jams and the high-end Beam Bar. Once selected, the customer places the virtual bar in their space where they are presented with a stocked bar to make their virtual drink. After selecting the right glass, customers need to aim at the selected glass to flick ice into it before swiping on the screen to select between Jim Beam Bourbon, Jim Beam Apple or Jim Beam Honey. After swiping up on the screen to pour the Jim Beam in the glass, customers then pick their mixer and their garnish to complete their drink. For those that chose lemon or lime as a garnish, users need to swipe up to cut the citrus and then pinch on the screen to squeeze it in the glass.

The WebAR experience was created in 8th Wall by Arcade, in a collaboration with brand experience agency, Quantum.

The Virtual Bar WebAR experience ends with the option to take a photo of the Highball just mixed, complete with the list of ingredients you selected. Customers can save the photo and then share it with their friends and social networks. Customers can also choose to move their phone beyond the bar to take a peek at the full virtual bar area and access a “Jim Beam Welcoming Offers” blackboard in the bars to be sent to offers from Jim Beam.

The Jim Beam Always Welcome web app is the one-stop-shop for everything Jim Beam, including the virtual bar, tailored highball suggestions, a flagship global music series and more!

Try it yourself by visiting the new ‘Jim Beam Welcomes‘ digital experience on your mobile.

This article was first published on the 8th Wall blog.

Turn Up Your Glow with AHC & Web AR

AHC is one of Unilever’s leading skincare brands in Southeast Asia. The team was looking for a new way to amplify the core brand message, focused on their best-selling Luminous Glow Eye Cream for Face. Arcade was asked to create a fun in-store and at-home experience that could be accessed quickly and easily, and offered a new way for consumers to ‘Turn Up Your Glow’.

Play with AR

Borrowing from the brand style guide and associated visual assets, we developed a WebAR game in which consumers are challenged to pop as many bubbles as they can in 30 seconds. With beautiful refraction and reflection techniques to make the bubbles as realistic and enjoyable to play with as possible, consumers can have fun trying to achieve high scores, and share images of their subtly filtered selfie to social media. Depending on their score they can also access discounts from local retailers.

WebAR

WebAR is the perfect platform for an experience like this, able to engage consumers in the spur of the moment and requiring nothing more than a mobile web browser. Platforms such as Zappar and, in this case, 8th Wall, allow developers to create near-seamless access to AR experiences, and are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to apps.

Get in touch

Find out more about our work for brands and FMCG, and more generally about the power of WebAR, or get in touch here.