New York’s Subway Turns into Entertainment

Digitally transforms billboards into digital murals and animated artwork...
(Courtesy photo)

Imagine the bevy of insipid billboards you see every day on NYC subway stations transforming into an eclectic art gallery!

Sounds too good to be true, right? Heavy AR, an augmented reality app by Re+Public has made the impossible possible with their advanced AR technology. This app is designed to digitally transform the boring soft drinks and movie ads into jaw dropping digital murals and animated artwork.

Waiting for your train will no longer be dull when the grim subway turns into a virtual art gallery.

Using this app is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is download the app on your Android or iOS smartphone, install, open and point the camera towards the advertisement you want to transform. Voila! Republic Lab’s state-of-the-art AR technology will replace the boring billboard into a cool piece of art in seconds.

For those who don’t know, Re+Public is the brainchild of Jordan Seiler and Jowy Romano. For the Heavy AR project, they have collaborated with 50 visual artists so far. They are planning to expand their partnership to ensure an unforgettable augmented reality experience for the users without requiring heavy-duty and uber-expensive handheld devices.

According to the latest reports, Heavy AR is aiming to collaborate with the International Center of Photography in Mid-October.

The thought behind this app is very simple: to fill public ad spaces with diverse, creative and amazing artwork; and ultimately, to revolutionize public open space advertising approach.

With over 5 million people commuting on a daily basis, NYC subway stations are a goldmine for advertisers. While there’s nothing objectionable about it per se, a lot of image artists are pissed off with the lack of creativity in these advertisements. Millions of daily commuters are being bombarded with images they don’t bother looking at.

Heavy AR’s goal is to allow the commuters to see the world around them in a different way. It’s one of a kind AR technology lets them whitewash the commercial advertisements without physically invading the occupied space. Jordan and Jowy are planning to display new artworks by top artists from all over the globe every month.

There’s only one caveat. Heavy AR app won’t work on advertisements that have been altered or feature graffiti. It also won’t work on advertisements of a single, dominating advertiser and the ones that haven’t been cataloged into the system yet.

Having said that, Heavy AR breathes life into those hideous, uninspiring litany of subway ads that only aim to increase the sales. To be able to change your regular subway surrounding into a colorful art gallery will certainly spice up the morning commute experience for everyone.


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