‘Hidden Figures’ AR Experience Takes You Around The US To Learn About STEM Innovators

by Charles Singletary • January 4th, 2017

Hidden Figures is an upcoming feature film that chronicles the lesser-known story of African American women at NASA and their crucial role into positioning the US at the forefront of the Space Race. The film is a critically acclaimed and pivotal sharing of an untold story and it’s getting a deep augmented experience to accompany it.

Powered by IBM and New York Times’ T Brand Studio, Outthink Hidden is inspired by the film and seeks to shed light on lesser known historical figures around the nation. You’ll have to do some actual traveling though to uncover all that the app has to offer.

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The application is an AR first for New York Times and highlights the main characters of the Hidden Figures film, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan. However, it also takes the educational experience a step further.  The twist on this AR app is that the different figures featured in this virtual museum are attached to locations across the US. Reminiscent of the Pokestops of Pokemon Go, you’ll have to go to static locations (there are over 150) where you activate sensors to initiate the AR renderings. Once you find them, the app offers audio and visual narratives that accompany 3D renderings of innovators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Experiences like Outhink Hidden and Pokemon Go, both on opposite ends of education and entertainment, may inspire developers to create more content that inspires users to get up, get out, and share in the experience with others. Ultimately for Outthink Hidden though, users do not have to actually travel to see all the figures available in the program. The AR content can be activated on a mobile device at a special IBM webpage, through select print editions of The New York Times, or even at physical plinths at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

The experience is now available through the T Brand Studio AR app which can be downloaded for free on iTunes and Google Play.

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