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Augmented Reality Flashmobs Bring Hallucinations To Life In Amsterdam

Do you need LSD or just a delusional state of mind? It appears that neither is the case, since all you were required to bring to an Augmented Reality event in Amsterdam was a smartphone.  As a first-time 'flashmob' of this type, AR gatherings like this could become a tourism trend for other international destinations to emulate.

Flashmobs organized on Twitter and Facebook can mobilize hundreds, sometimes thousands of people with limited notice. Differing from the social experiment terribly wrong in Philadelphia early this year where the mobs turned violent, flashmobs are traditionally upbeat, fun viral events - as the Dutch would attest to!

A flashmob recently held in Amsterdam is one such event. Assisted by the tech phenomenon now exploding into our mainstream zeitgeist, an augmented reality event unlike any other witnessed on the planet convened on Dam Square.

Sander VeenofSander VeenofOn April 24, new media artist Sander Veenhof, together with TAB Worldmedia utilized an AR browser to dress up the square with virtual statues the likes of a member of the Royal Guard, Darth Vader, Superman and other well-known cartoon characters.

This YouTube video will provide you with a visual of the creator Sander Veenof working the crowds and creating a Superman statue in the process. (note: The audio is in Dutch).



The statue-seeing apps Layar and AndAR for iPhones and Android devices were made available on the Augmented Reality Flash Mob Web site. By activating the apps on your smartphone, markers in the square were triggered to add the virtual statues, as witnessed here (note the black-and-white-tiled mosaic QR code situated under Darth Vader).


In addition to having your picture taken with each virtual statue, you can actually walk around them to look at them from all angles by just using your smartphone and AR browser.

Great marketing concept for destinations that are looking for another tourist attraction to  attract additional travelers to their cities.  If you are interested in the capabilities of augmented reality, other posts on that topic can be found here.