News: Sony's Smurfs Movie to Provide Mixed Reality Experience for Kids on the HoloLens

Sony's Smurfs Movie to Provide Mixed Reality Experience for Kids on the HoloLens

Sony has upped the ante for the promotion of Smurfs: The Lost Village, which was released on April 7 in the US, with a mixed reality experience via Microsoft's HoloLens.

The experience in question is actually a children's game, and was created by media agency OMD and AOL's Partner Studio, which creates content for advertisers, as well as UNIT9, a production company that focuses on virtual reality, digital, gaming, innovation, and film projects.

When wearing a HoloLens headset, the user can see locations from the children's movie augmented over surfaces around them in the real world. The player is tasked with exploring locations from the Smurfs movie with the end goal of finding the eponymous Lost Village. To do this, the player must use tabletops and other surfaces around them to interact with the tiny blue characters and advance through the various levels.

Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment

However, as we know, not everyone is the proud owner of HoloLens technology quite yet. There has yet to be a consumer version of technology on the market, unless you want to shell out $3,000 for one of the developer editions. This mixed reality experience in question is seemingly being used as an example of how companies can utilize the technology down the line.

That said, there is a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the game for promotional purposes, which is to be distributed via 16 global markets, including Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Thailand, the UK, and Ukraine, to name but a few. The US, oddly enough, was not on the list for some reason.

A preview of the Smurfs game on the HoloLens.

Speaking about the mixed reality experience, Elias Plishner, EVP of Digital Marketing at Sony Picture Entertainment, said:

Smurfs: The Lost Village takes moviegoers into the world of the Smurfs, and the HoloLens allows us to go one better: to bring our world and the Smurfs' world together in a mixed-reality setting. It's huge fun for the moviegoer that perfectly whets the appetite for the movie.

The official trailer for Smurfs: The Lost Village.

Meanwhile, John Baylon, head of advertising at AOL International, highlighted the fact that brands could utilize the latest technology "to build immersive experiences on these new platforms that will soon be in households around the world."

It appears that children are one of HoloLens' target audience as evidenced by the educational apps being made for the system. Lifeliqe is a visual education company providing digital science curriculums via augmented and mixed reality technology. Its 3D apps on the Microsoft HoloLens has just finished being piloted for grades six to 12 at Renton Prep in Seattle, as well as Castro Valley Unified College in California.

The lucky kids experienced am augmented lesson about circulatory system and electronegativity, thanks to MR technology and the HoloLens. The company's blog has indicated that pilots will take place at other schools around the country in the next few weeks.

Information about Lifeliqe's Hololens apps for kids.

Being a part of the story by incorporating mixed reality technology is certainly another way to experience a film, as well as learning. Do you think mixed reality will work wonders for brands? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Cover image via Sony Pictures Entertainment

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