×

USA Today Launches Oscars AR Experience to Highlight Work of Costume Designers (EXCLUSIVE)

USA Today is getting ready for the Academy Awards with an augmented reality (AR) experience dedicated to the work of the costume designers on some of the Oscar-nominated movies.

The experience, which went live in USA Today’s Android and iOS app Monday, presents wardrobe from 6 movies in augmented reality, including costumes worn on “Mary Poppins Returns,” “The Favorite,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Black Panther.”

“We wanted to give our readers a different feel, a hands-on experience,” said USA Today Life managing editor Alison Maxwell in an interview with Variety. The experience allows readers to explore individual costumes in their own four walls, thanks to mobile AR technology.

CREDIT: USA Today / Screenshot: Janko Roettgers/Variety

It is accompanied by interview snippets from each of the costume designers, who highlight individual aspects of each and every costume. Some of the designers interviewed include Sandy Powell (“The Favorite,” “Mary Poppins Returns”) and Ruth E. Carter, who told the publication about her inspiration for the costumes of “Black Panther.” “She wanted her female warriors to be taken seriously,” said Maxwell.

USA Today Network emerging tech director Ray Soto told Variety that his team produced the entire experience in just 16 days, and likened the results to an interactive AR photo gallery. “We didn’t want to create a story arc,” he said. Instead, it was meant as an opportunity for readers to explore the costumes on their own pace. He added that AR may offer a number of additional applications for publications like USA Today in the future, ranging from data visualization to persistent location-based information layers.

Soto said that his team has been working with the emerging format for close to 1.5 years now. One of the lessons learned during that time was that it doesn’t make sense to launch separate AR apps for experiences like this. “It was very important for us to have it in the main app,” he said. “We didn’t want to have a scattered ecosystem.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • lenovo-mirage-camera_3

    Google’s VR180 Format Stalls After Camera Manufacturers Pull Back

    Google’s plan to establish a new immersive media format on YouTube and beyond has hit a roadblock: VR180, the stereoscopic video format that Google launched with big fanfare in 2017, has lost some of its key supporters, Variety has learned. Camera maker Yi has all but given up on launching its long-promised VR180 consumer camera, [...]

  • UMC-Marriage-Boot-Camp-Hip-Hop-Edition-WE-tv

    WE tv, UMC Reteam on Bonus Content for 'Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition' Season 2

    AMC Networks is touting the benefits of cross-pollinating content and promos across its TV and streaming properties. In the latest bit of synergy, the programmer’s WE tv announced the continuation of its partnership with sister company UMC (Urban Movie Channel) to produce a second season of “confessional” episodes for WE tv reality series “Marriage Boot [...]

  • Google Play Pass

    Google Launches Play Pass, Its $4.99 Apple Arcade Competitor

    Google officially launched its Play Pass game and app subscription service Monday morning. Play Pass gives users access to more than 350 premium games and apps for $4.99 per month. The launch comes just a few days after Apple unveiled it own game subscription service Apple Arcade. Apps and games included in this subscription do [...]

  • ESPN - Always Late With Katie

    ESPN Inks Facebook Deal to Bring Exclusive Shows and Content to Watch Service

    Disney’s ESPN is looking to expand digital reach across Facebook, under a new deal to distribute exclusive digital shows and content on the social giant’s Facebook Watch video platform. At launch, ESPN’s Facebook Watch lineup includes additional segments from “Always Late With Katie Nolan,” the late-night sports/comedy show premiering this week on ESPN2; exclusive versions [...]

  • David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Carolyn

    Emmys 2019: 'Game of Thrones,' Jharrel Jerome Lead Social-Media Buzz

    HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Jharrel Jerome, star of Netflix’s “When They See Us,” were among the leaders of social conversation during Sunday’s 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Facebook and Twitter. “GOT” picked up 12 Emmys in total for its final season, including outstanding drama series, while series star Peter Dinklage picked up his fourth [...]

  • Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Sets First Book-Club Pick for New Apple TV Plus Series

    Oprah Winfrey’s interviews with authors of her book club selections will be featured exclusively on Apple’s forthcoming Apple TV Plus service, and she’s announced the first book selection for the project: “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Apple teamed with Winfrey for Apple TV Plus series “Oprah’s Book Club,” premiering Nov. 1 when the service [...]

  • NBC LX - Valari Staab

    NBCU Launches Digital News Outlet LX to Reach People Who Don't Watch Local TV (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBCUniversal’s local TV division is taking a new tack to reach younger audiences that don’t tune in to its traditional newscasts. On Monday, NBCU’s 42-station local TV group is launching LX — a digital news brand that will produce original content for online distribution and, in 2020, via a live-streaming internet network and multicast over-the-air [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content