By Aaron Kirby
A new walking trail that uses augmented reality (AR) that runs from the city to the new Matagarup Footbridge has been hailed a success since it was unveiled in July.
The Activated Art Walk was created to try to liven up the eastern parts of Perth’s CBD and give families and sports fans an alternative path through the city and to Optus Stadium.
The only way you can see the AR art is through an app on a smartphone.
17 artworks span the journey from Forest Chase to the footbridge, including licensed work from all over the globe as well as three original digital designs.
The walk runs along Hay Street and Nelson Crescent with dots on the footpaths leading the way to the artworks. They’re all located in places like shop windows, walkways, small alcoves, and even a mural on the outside wall of the historic WACA ground.
Seven of the artworks were created by local artists Peter Farmer, James Giddy, Alexander Hare, and Stewart Campbell (aka Sutu).
Digital artist Alexander Hare worked on a number of the AR designs. He focused on making them fun and creative for the viewer while sticking to the original artist’s ideas.
“We were quite mindful of the other artists work and trying to adapt their style as much as possible,” he said.
“We make an animation that looks like that artists had done it and that was a part of the fun.”
The AR app, EyeJack, which is installed on smartphones and used to bring the artwork to life, has over 5000 downloads from Activate Perth’s website as well as 1700 Android downloads.
Activate Perth Executive Director Anne-Maree Ferguson believes the trail and app have been a success because of their interactivity with social media.
“What we didn’t anticipate was the social media penetration,” said Ferguson.
“We have enjoyed really good traction on Instagram, in large part because the app enables direct upload to Instagram.”
The Perth walk has already gained attention internationally – it received an enquiry from Texas as well as New South Wales where similar walks are planned.
The artworks will be in place until the end of July next year.