Disney Releases First AR Short Film; Is Virtual Reality the Future of Streaming at Disney+?
The future of streaming may be unfolding before our eyes on Disney+. Disney recently released “Remembering,” a short film starring Bree Larson, as part of Disney+ Day on Sept. 8. In the film, Larson plays an author who teams up with her own inner child to “recover” a lost idea that will aid her in a story she is attempting to write.
The short film itself is not so revolutionary, but the augmented reality features embedded in the film represent a new foray into VR for streaming companies. By downloading a special app, scanning a QR code, and playing the film on a TV, viewers can bring a whimsical fantasy world to life in their own living room. The AR features are only available via a free iOS app, so Android users are currently out of luck when it comes to altered reality streaming.
“With a first-of-its-kind companion Augmented Reality app, where the AR experience is triggered by the film’s moving image, select Disney+ subscribers in the U.S. can interact with the story by scanning the TV to extend The World of Imagination into their living room,” said Disney regarding the film’s release.
The foray into virtual reality is likely just a first step for Disney, in order to test the viability of the product and get consumer feedback. If it proves successful, expect Disney to roll out AR shows and movies on a variety of different platforms and devices, not just iOS.
Indeed, more augmented reality content is a big part of Disney’s future plans for Disney+. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the company wants to launch what it calls “Next-Gen Storytelling” on its streaming platform. “Next-Gen Storytelling” will provide a more interactive streaming experience that will not only include movies and shows, but give subscribers the chance to enjoy virtual experiences like Disney rides that were previously only accessible by visiting a Disney park in person.
“Disney+ will not just be a movie-service platform, but it’s going to become an experiential lifestyle platform,” Chapek said. “A platform for the whole company to embody both the physical things that you might be able to experience in a theme park, but also the digital experiences that you can get through media.”
If test cases like “Remembering” prove successful, expect to see more augmented reality content hitting Disney+ very soon.
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