AR Experiences and Smithsonian Gems Storyboard

Danny J. Sanchez / Microscopic image of gems at the Smithsonian


Breakdown of two AR experiences:


  1. Dark: A horror AR story
    1. Summary: An interactive narrative that functions a lot like a video game but is in your living room and forces you to walk around and interact with the space in order to progress in the game
    2. Coolest part: It’s pretty scary! The AR app has a dark and foggy filter over it as you walk around and answer short messages in the game.  After you look through the phone long enough you start to forget that you are actually in your well-lit comfortable living room eating dinner.  The music really adds to the experience and after a short period you are desperately waiting for something startling to happen.  It felt a lot like being on the edge of my seat watching an unsuspecting victim walk into a trap- except that victim was me.
    3. Could be better: The messages that I was receiving from the “command center” about my mission were vague and unengaging. It also required me to walk around the space for awhile in order to get the next message and the reward for doing so was another short message. It would be better if there was a more interactive way to build the story, aside from message pop-ups.
  2. Holo
    1. Summary: An AR app that allows you to place animated 3D gifs anywhere you want and take a photo with or without yourself in it and send it to people
    2. Coolest Part: It’s pretty fun and seems like a nice upgrade from the usual filters of snapchat or instagram
    3. Could be better:  It gets boring pretty fast.  After you have played around with a couple of the GIFS, you don’t want to play with it in much.  A lot of the fun lies in the novelty and not in the actual sharing of the images and GIFS.


Storyboard Idea: Hidden World of a Gem


  1. Summary:  An AR experience that allows you to look inside the “hidden world” of gems that is found under a microscope.  When examined they reveal unique and often wild looking structures with their own surfaces and variations.
  2. Discovery: A sign at the entrance of the gems exhibit, info on the museum pamphlet, in a gems movie, online- showing pictures of the inner worlds and telling people about the 3D AR version in the museum
  3. Engagement:  Indicate which gems have been augmented with a hide and reveal sign that encourages them to see what the naked eye can’t
  4. Action: People can hold up their phone after downloading the app and see the various inner worlds of each gem
  5. Follow-up: A description of the chemical and physical reasons that led to the formation of the gem on this microscopic scale


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