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Luxembourg science in augmented reality (AR)

Letzscience: An interactive campaign brought to you by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).

Letzscience is an interactive campaign brought to you by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). From 30 July – 10 August 2020, three intriguing science images are displayed across 41 2m posters on the tram network in Luxembourg City and Kirchberg. Triggered by scanning a QR code, the images transform into an augmented reality (AR) experience.

Curious? Discover the experiences below!

Order Augmented Reality cards: Want to always have the experiences to hand? Drop us an email and we will send you A6 cards from which you can launch the AR experience whenever you like! Just let us know where to send them and how many you would like.

*If you are viewing this page on a desktop/tablet, simply hover your phone camera over the QR code, follow instructions and then hold phone over the image.

The story behind the letzscience AR campaign: the compact version

We, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), want to raise awareness of research in Luxembourg, much of which is funded by the FNR. To reach people in Luxembourg in a new, innovative way, we decided to combine augmented reality with the beauty of science. We chose three striking images that make one think: ‘what the hell is that?’.

As we teamed up with some talented creative professionals in Luxembourg, an idea for a new type of campaign blending science communication and augmented reality grew beyond a concept into the letzscience campaign.

The letzscience campaign is live on 41 displays across the tram network in Luxembourg City and Kirchberg from 30 July – 10 August 2020. The campaign includes promotional street events are on Saturdays, 1 and 8 August 2020, on the corner of Grand Rue/ Rue des Capucins in Luxembourg City, in front of ING, featuring the three experiences, a science memory game, and campaign giveaways.

Stephen Korytko (advertising consultant); STUDIO Polenta (graphic design); Cropmark (web design); Virtual Rangers (augmented reality). Special thanks to Luxvisual for the flexibility in the production of the AR posters.

The story behind the letzscience AR campaign: the whole story

Every two years, the FNR commissions a survey in Luxembourg to gauge the perception and level of interest in Luxembourg’s research and research actors, for example. 70% of people told us they want to be more informed about science and research in Luxembourg.

We asked ourselves: How can we reach people in a new, innovative way and hope to leave an impression? How can we raise awareness of the important research happening here, which the FNR is helping fund with public money? Our answer: an interactive awareness campaign with an augmented reality (AR) experience at the heart.

Why AR? AR is still a new thing in Luxembourg: it is not something people get to play with every day. Why target tram stops? People are there because they are waiting, meaning the perfect opportunity to take in a short AR experience.

A concept built on stirring up curiosity

We chose three striking images that make one wonder: what the hell is that? As we teamed up with some talented creative professionals in Luxembourg, an idea for a new type of campaign blending science communication and augmented reality grew beyond a concept into the letzscience campaign.

When choosing the images that would form a basis for the 3D animations in the AR experiences, not only the visual appeal of the image, or the science behind it played a role. Many factors came into play: is the image a viable tracker for the AR? Is it even possible to bring the image to life in 3D animation taking into account it has to load on a phone in real-time? Is the image high enough resolution to be printed on a large poster?

Virtual Rangers, who created the AR experiences, pushed boundaries to develop the 3D animations that enable the viewer to nearly dive into the image when it comes to life.

The bold graphic identity of the campaign (STUDIO Polenta) is underpinned by a flowing palette of hologram colours, reflecting the diversity of research topics in Luxembourg. We wanted to give the campaign its own home online, a mini site (Cropmark) reflecting the visual of the campaign – the site you are on right now.

Test, improve, repeat until smooth

Test, improve, repeat until smoothWhen it came to where to display the 41, 2m tall posters featured in the main rollout of the campaign, we partnered up with IP / Tramedia, who from the start were eager to help make this pilot campaign a success - something connecting everyone involved in the project.

Putting an augmented reality (AR) experience on a 2m display, outdoors, was not something anyone involved had done before: Will the weather have an impact on the functionality of the AR experience? Will the reflection of the glass on top of the poster be an issue? How big does the QR code have to be? These were all questions that required the poster to be seen in real conditions: try, improve, try again, improve, try again, succeed.

It became clear that the glass on the advertising display was too reflective to ensure a smooth AR experience during sunny conditions. Thanks to the creative thinking of IP, and the flexibility of Luxvisual, a solution was found: Instead of putting the posters under glass, they were printed on a special matte, adhesive material placed on top of the glass – a first.

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