#U2eiTour & Augmented Reality (Part II): even BETTER than the REAL THING

Original Story by Harry Kantas (2018-04-24)

Spoiler Warning: this article contains visuals not present on the U2 eXPERIENCE App launch from today. Those wishing not to view further information, should probably make a U-turn here!

In Part I of our look at AR on the #U2eiTour, we examined the possibilities of the use of Augmented Reality on the tour. While we still hold out hope for a hologram technology, that will not need the use of mobile devices during the shows, we talked about the possibility of a companion app, that could utilise Superimposition based AR (take a look at Part I for a run down of the different types of AR currently available).

Today, U2.com have announced the “U2 eXPERIENCE App”, which does exactly that. The app, released for Android and iPhone, detects certain images, and superimposes an AR object over them:

Download the U2 AR eXPERIENCE App for iOS or Android … and see how it responds to the Songs of Experience album cover image.

Then bring your phone to the gig for a U2 show experience like never before – and share your U2 AR eXPERIENCE with all your friends.

This is smart, because both the images to be detected, and the AR objects already come with the app, thus eliminating the need for a network connection, which would never work in a crowded venue (again, refer to Part I for more details on this). One way to experience this, is to open the app on your phone, and point it towards your copy of “Songs Of Experience”. The object that gets superimposed in this use case, is Bono, singing the opening lines to “Love Is All We Have Left” (Yes, I just called Bono an object, I’m aware..!) It will however be power intensive, and put a strain on your battery, so plan accordingly!

Here’s how that looks through my phone, while pointing at a promotional cardboard cutout for SoE:

According to the U2.com post, as well the app description for U2 eXPERIENCE (click here for a screenshot), there are two more use cases, one during the run-up to the show, and one during the opening song. We also know that the AR in both of these cases will be triggered by the LED screen. We can safely assume that it will be a set of images that will trigger the AR objects again on your device, the same way the SoE cover image triggered the first one.

We managed to take a peak into the future, and some of the trigger images for the shows, along with their AR elements. We will not spoil the eXPERIENCE for you, but we can give you a nice little teaser of what to expect, come May 2nd, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK.

…But you haven’t come all the way out here to watch TV now, have ya???

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