The Revo Conference and Exhibition, the UK’s largest retail property event, comes to Liverpool this week . One of the key presences at the show will be Liverpool One, the shopping destination that has helped to redefine Liverpool city centre. For Revo 2017 they have appointed Draw & Code to create an augmented reality app that helps to tell their story.
Revo is an annual event that tours the UK, having twice visited Liverpool, including in 2008 – the year that Liverpool One opened. As the city’s most prestigious and successful retail development, Liverpool One will have a starring role in the exhibition, hence they wanted a stand-out experience to mark the occasion.
As with many of Draw & Code’s projects, the technology is simply the right tool for the job rather than the emphasis of the experience itself. Augmented reality is ideal as it allows us to build in as much information and animation into a limited physical area as possible.
In this case that area is a shopping bag – but it was no ordinary shopping bag. Instead of a plastic bag or even a classy paper construction, we commissioned the set-designers at Liverpool Scenic to come up with weatherproof, free-standing sculptures that, despite their rigidity, were fashioned to look recognisable as a bag. Why not use a bag? For a start, the aim was for them to be oversized, but more crucially they may be required to withstand the autumn weather. The 50cm tall sculptures were mounted on plinths with the Liverpool One Revo designs resplendent upon them. Each bag acts as a marker that triggered animations and information to be overlaid onto them.
Creating the bags was no easy task. Liverpool Scenic opted to recreate the folds that would naturally appear in a paper or plastic bag by folding the wood used to make the model bags. That’s right, they folded thick wood, going through 20 prototype pieces in the process. Eventually they perfected the process and looked justifiably satisfied with the result.
For Revo there will be four of the augmented reality bags dotted around the city. The first of the 50cm bags is found at the ACC exhibition centre where Revo is taking place. The others can be found in four of the key areas of Liverpool One – Paradise Street, St Johns Street, Chavasse Park and Peter’s Lane.
Delegates from the conference will be invited to see the bags come to life by pointing their phone or tablet at them. From each bag emerges a collage of scenes from the city and photoshoots of products. Constructed in Unity 3D, there are parallax effects and real depth to the collages in an attempt to capture some of the physical presence of the locations depicted.
Revo runs from the 19th until the 21st September.