San Francisco-based Onedome is unveiling a decidedly different take on location-based immersive entertainment in the Bay Area later this week: The company will open its very first augmented reality art exhibit to the public in downtown San Francisco this coming Friday.
Dubbed “The Unreal Garden,” the exhibit lets consumers freely roam an enchanted world of plants, animals and digital art objects, brought to life with traditional projection technologies as well as Microsoft’s Hololens AR headset, combined behind the scenes with technology from HP.
The exhibit includes a total of 10 art pieces from 9 artists, including Android Jones, John Park, Jasmine Pradissitto, Andy Thomas, Shuster + Moseley, Scott Musgrove, Werc, Ray Kallmeyer and Vladislav Solovjov. Onedome helped to digitize their artwork and port it to the Hololens. The company also worked to combine all of the individual pieces to a group experience, allowing visitors to work together to unlock special visual effects.
However, the goal of the company wasn’t to build its own dedicated AR sphere, but to host other artists in a new environment, said Onedome co-founder and chief marketing officer Leila Amirsadeghi. “We don’t want to be creators, we want to be curators.”
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The Unreal Garden is only a first step in Onedome’s plans for curated immersive art spaces. In December, the company plans to open a separate exhibition called LMNL in its San Francisco location, which will include 15 interactive installations in separate rooms. “There will be secret passages,” teased Amirsadeghi.
And in the coming years, Onedome plans to open additional locations across the U.S. Amirsadeghi said that it won’t directly compete with other location-based immersive entertainment, including the location-based VR experiences that have been popping up in malls and movie theaters everywhere in recent months. “There is so much room for all of us,” she said.