City launches Augmented Reality Challenge, offers $14K in cash prizes

Remember a time five years ago when throngs of people, faces glued to their cellphones, were running rampant around the city? Dozens of meet-ups, crowded sidewalks, even the odd stampede?

Such were the days of Pokemon Go when the craze of the augmented reality game descended on the globe.

Though the heyday of Pokemon Go is past, the novelty of the game having fizzled, the creative possibilities of the technology still attract designers and developers.

Recently, the city launched its own Augmented Reality (AR) Challenge and is looking for individuals or teams of all skill levels to create AR applications that highlight Downtown’s “historic past, diverse present, or limitless future.”

What does that look like? Well, just about anything—that’s the fun part—though some examples the city gave were face filters, mural activation with image recognition and world effect tools.

The competition’s top idea submissions will receive technical mentorship support, and unveil their ideas to the public at an interactive exhibition event in fall 2021 where teams will compete for a cash prizes totaling $14,000.

Though the city is giving free rein over the creative concepts, there are a few criteria to factor in when submitting proposals. Deadline is May 15.

The city wants submissions to answer the question of how their AR proposal will connect users to Downtown’s historic past, present or idyllic future. Then, participants will be asked to design their concept on an outdoor physical demonstration site in Downtown.

This could be a building facade, building facade with a mural, building glass display, sidewalk, or a public plaza. The site map, including eligible locations, can be found here.

The competition is free to enter. Click here for more info.






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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers music, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.