Time traveling to the 50’s – Siren AR-experience

In the beginning of this year (2020) flyAR was chosen to augment reality for Espoo City Museum KAMU’s upcoming exhibition Everything and Nothing – Architects Kaija + Heikki Siren. The museum wanted to show how a typical 50’s apartment designed by the Sirens would have looked like using an interactive augmented reality experience. We designed this AR-experience together with KAMU’s educator Tiina Hero, who gave us lot’s of reference material including pictures, 50’s interior design guidelines and the original floor plan.

50's apartment reference image

After our initial planning together we started creating the 3D-content, as that was the most visual part of the project and everything else is going to be a part of the 3D-model. Our blender-wizard Nico Saarela started by modeling the floor plan and then proceeding to model 50’s style furniture and other required elements. The final model includes fun little details like a typewriter, globe, coffee grinder, radio and telephone. An important thing to consider when modeling for augmented reality is to keep the model light, i.e. to keep the polycount low and textures small.

3D-model WIP of apartment
3D-model WIP of apartment

As always, we asked our client for feedback regarding the initial 3D-model. The model was fixed, checked out together, tweaked a bit more and then we proceeded to the actual AR-implementation and animations. This project was created using the award-winning Zappar-platform, which we have used since 2016 for image-tracking augmentations. Our code wizard and CTO Eero Salminen has created lots of useful functionalities for the Zappar-platform over the years and with them it is easy for us (quite often Nico) to create very interactive AR-experiences.

Siren AR experience by flyAR

A plain static model, even if it were cool, is a bit boring as AR-content. This is why we prefer to create more interactive and animated AR-projects. When the AR-user can click around, explore and affect what is happening, the experience is more interesting and remembered better. This Siren AR-experience has a bunch of things to interact with, for example the user can see the same actual apartment in 2020 through 360-images, they can listen to a 50’s radio show or answer the phone.

The finished AR-experience can be seen in Espoo City Museum KAMU in Tapiola (Finland) in Exhibition Centre WeeGee, adress Ahertajantie 5. A smaller A5-sized version was also created as a part of the exhibition broschure. This project was very interesting for us, we realized that during the existence of that apartment, the world around it has changed hugely! 

Also our client the Espoo City Museum KAMU was happy with the end result, our contact person educator Tiina Hero gave us very nice feedback: 

We can warmly recommend working with flyAR to other museums! Years of cooperation has proven that it is easy to co-develop useful augmented reality experiences with them. They focus on authenticity and user-friendliness in a very nice way and handle humanist’s wishes and questions smoothly. Working with flyAR you don’t need to settle for out-of-the-box solutions, the sky is the limit for new augmented ideas! They will commit to handling the project until the end and help out even after the project is finished.   

Would you like to ask about this project or about augmenting realities? Contact our CEO and AR Designer:

Frans Tihveräinen
frans at flyar. fi
+358 50 530 6108