I spent the first decade of my career as an IT consultant specializing in clients in the telecommunications industry, so this was a fun project for me. I was excited for an excuse to learn more about 5G. During the production of the project, when we engaged with our client at Sprint, along with our partners at Fresh Wata, I spoke enough 'telco lingo' to help build the relationship and earn their trust as we embarked into new dimensions together. It took a big leap of faith on their part to produce this experience with cutting edge technology they had never seen in action before.
For the Pique Your Curiosity immersive augmented reality experience at Mobile World Congress, Enklu told the story of Sprint 5G using a 7 scene mixed reality journey. Our mission was to showcase the future of the connected city to a wide audience in a way that captivated, informed and wow'd guests. The next generation of wireless communication will act as the foundation for the Interconnected City of tomorrow across Home Automation, Transportation, City Services, Hospitals and more.
Using a combination of physical models and holographic overlays, attendees could see Sprint’s 5G coverage across the U.S., learn how the technology works and got a sneak peek of what’s to come with 5G-enabled connected cities and IOT.
One of the biggest challenges for those working with this technology for the first time is translating what have historically been linear narratives, such as for videos or voiceovers, into a storyline with bite-size pieces that could be engaged with by users in a choose-your-own-adventure style experience. Inspired to help others embrace this new kind of media, I later wrote this piece (originally published on Linkedin) with 10 tips on designing immersive augmented reality experiences.
Guests were taught how to navigate their augmented reality journey, opening a vignette for a 5G topic and location by simply selecting it with their gaze. Each location told a part of the 5G story, with animated holographic models of different buildings and innovations across the connected city. In the back of the booth was the Sprint 5G Map, which showed each city across the US powered by 5G. We added a holographic overlay to bring the map to life, with glowing lights and effects.
The experience was featured at the front of the exposition hall and created quite the impact for those in attendance, delighting guests and the higher-up Sprint executives. We walked away with glowing video testimonials from both Fresh Wata and Sprint clients and collaborators.
First shown at MWC-LA and earning accolades throughout the show as “the booth to beat,” an updated version was later brought to CES. This experience became part of Sprint’s marketing toolkit to be redeployed or easily revised for other activations.
Here is a fun video made by a visitor to the experience: