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Experience: Gateway to the Future, transforming cultural landmarks with AR

Text by CLOT Magazine

Blooming Future, Timo Helgert’s (2022)

Gateway to the Future, an initiative by HONOR designed to enrich cultural heritage through the power of technology, has just launched its new project that reimagines the Wasserschloss, an iconic landmark located in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, using augmented reality (AR). Set against the backdrop of surging interest in the metaverse and changes in our digital environments, the project aims to inspire global creative talent to artistically explore innovations such as AI, AR and Spatial Audio to connect communities with culture in more immersive ways.

Gateway to the Future invited two popular artists, Yunuene and Timo Helgert, to creatively transform the famous Wasserschloss building in AR.  Yunuene’s contribution to Gateway to the Future, entitled Sailing Through Time, pays tribute to the evolution of the city’s port, showing how innovation in marine logistics transformed over time with her signature visual aesthetic. Timo Helgert’s experience Blooming Future takes a more futuristic approach, playing on Hamburg’s status as one of the greenest cities in the world and creatively imagining what the Wasserschloss would look like in a green future where beautiful plants and endangered species can thrive, taking this historic landmark into an otherworldly realm.

The AR experiences at the Wasserschloss bring the digital and physical worlds together, allowing visitors to experience accessible culture in a totally new way. Available until the end of the year, the Gateway to the Future AR experiences can be accessed through a dedicated page on a free app. Users have the option to experience the AR artworks on-site in Hamburg or anywhere in the world. The on-site experience is anchored to the Wasserschloss building and can be viewed from the Poggenmühlen-Brücke, the bridge opposite the landmark. Users who are not in Hamburg can select “experience on any surface” on the app and follow the on-screen instructions to virtually check out the AR experience on a flat surface nearby.

Gateway to the Future also aims to inspire creative talent from all around the world to harness technology and reimagine their own communities in the era of the metaverse with a dedicated AR Interactive Artwork Design category and is now accepting applications for digital art that transforms local neighbourhoods, including digital overlays for buildings, walls, parks, and other public spaces.

(Image courtesy of HONOR)
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