Disney+ subscribers can now immersive themselves in a new AR experience in conjunction with the short film "Remembering," starring and produced by "Captain Marvel" Brie Larson and directed and written by filmmaker Elijah Allan-Blitz.
The eight-minute-long movie features a companion augmented reality app that allows users to scan their TV using an iOS device to watch an extension of the movie on the small screen.
With the movie encompassing the idea of a fantastical wonderland full of rainbows, shooting stars and dolphin-shaped clouds, Disney has taken this opportunity to experiment with AR to serve and enhance movie storytelling from the comfort of the viewer's own living room.
Disney has created a number of AR experiences in the past, but this is the first AR app that connects directly to content on the Disney+ platform. The "Remembering" AR component itself is designed to bring "The World of Imagination" alive to viewers by having them engage with the film via their smartphones. To immerse yourself in the experience, just scan a QR code on the TV screen and download the "Remembering: The AR Experience" app on your iPhone or iPad.
Throughout the film, viewers are meant to keep the app open while they watch as it taps into audio cues using Apple's ShazamKit technology. From there, the app will pick up a key piece of audio around three minutes in, and the device will chime to alert users to hold up their phone and point it towards their TV. This will unlock a 10-second countdown before it kickstarts the AR experience.
"The movie is first of its kind. We feel like this is a part of the future of how humanity will interact with entertainment," Allan-Blitz said. "The AR experience moves away from a typical passive experience of streaming and allows viewers to engage with it in a deeper way. That makes it something that you're doing to remember on a deeper level than just something you watch," he added.
As you point your device at the TV, you will be able to witness a waterfall flowing down to the floor alongside dolphins, butterflies, trees, foliage, glowing flowers and other wondrous digital elements from the movie. In a scene, you can even find a shooting star flying across the screen and dolphin-shaped clouds as they move in the sky and dive into "The River of Life."
However, Disney+ is not the only one to adopt AR for entertainment and marketing. HBO Max recently promoted its "Game of Thrones" prequel series "House of the Dragon" to enable fans to raise a virtual dragon, alongside a collaboration with Snap to create a dragon that fire-breathes in Snapchat Lenses. Apple TV+, on the other hand, has launched an AR app called "For All Mankind: Time Capsule", letting fans interact with virtual objects from the show, while Netflix has rewarded voters a virtual AR experience with digital Easter eggs from Netflix original series including "Ozark", "The Crown" and "Stranger Things."