Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences For Your Living Room

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Olafur Eliasson's Wunderkammer collection brings the Northern Lights, a rain cloud, the sun, flowers and other AR objects into your home. (Nora McGreevy)

This AR App Brings the Northern Lights and Other Natural Phenomena Into Your Living Room

by Nora McGreevy/Smithsonianmag.com

A cloud hovers overhead and gently releases rain onto your pillow. Purple flowers sprout out of your bathroom floor. A fiery sun slowly rotates above the kitchen sink. This isn’t another vivid, pandemic-induced stress dream: It’s augmented reality art.

Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist known for crafting immersive installations that toy with the human senses, has released a collection of augmented reality (AR) experiences that bring a much-needed dose of nature to quarantine, reports Hilarie M. Sheets for the Art Newspaper. Users can explore the objects, titled the Wunderkammer collection, through the Acute Art app, which features an array of virtual, mixed and augmented reality experiences.

By simply peering through their smartphone’s camera, art lovers can place virtual renderings of the Northern Lights, a rainbow and even a rare puffin. Tap on a cloud, and it will start to rain; get too close to the puffin, and it will flap its wings while offering up a slightly alarmed expression. Aside from a virtual ladybug, whose 30-day visit comes at a cost of $2, the art is free for all to appreciate and experimentat with.

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