A collection of augmented reality supporting Black Lives Matter

Throughout the years of studying and working in immersive technology, the use cases have expanded. As the world fights for justice and equality, we must consider the potential impact of augmented reality in activism and social change.

Certain aspects of immersive tech have become more accessible in recent years. Think about Snapchat and Instagram filters, which overlay digital graphics onto your face, alter the appearance of the image, or overlay onto the real world. The general notion is that AR overlays or distorts reality, augmenting it.

Although the most immersive VR and AR experiences require expensive (or sold out) equipment, AR is becoming more readily available on the devices we already own (like our phones). This is why I will focus on these experiences, the ones you can try now and share on the largest social platforms.

So, how are people already utilizing AR to push the BLM movement? After attempting this search on Google with no luck, I asked the XR community on Twitter.

To my excitement, I saw a handful of inspiring responses. Since I couldn’t find these in my initial search, I decided to consolidate and celebrate these efforts in my post here. Here is a collection of the AR experiences in support of BLM.

Digital signage and tagging:

The Snapchat filter by Andrew McFee displays “Black Lives Matter” in huge letters in the sky. You can unlock it with this link here. Watch as it’s able to properly project in the sky without occluding, or blocking, the buildings and trees.
By utilizing this AR filter, users can place these Black Lives Matter graphics anywhere in the world.
In this powerful artwork, Adeshola Makinde referenced protest signs from the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to creating this as a 3D model for AR, the nonprofit art organization SaveArtSpace is raising money to exhibit the artwork on billboards in major cities across the country.

Black Rose Crown Filter:

Estella created a black rose that she is selling to raise money for Black Lives Matter campaigns and the organization Black Girls Code. She took things a step further with a tutorial on how to create an AR filter utilizing the symbolic black rose. Here is a link to the rose on Sketchfab, which you can purchase and utilize in solidarity. If you’d like to create your own AR filters, check out her tutorial on how to use Spark AR.

Memorials in honor of George Floyd:

Check out this beautiful 3D model of George Floyd Memorial Bust by Daniel Edwards. Since it’s on Sketchfab, users can view it in VR and AR.
Here is sneak peek of Steven Christian’s app, a George Floyd Memorial in augmented reality.

Interactive AR Experiences:

With this AR face filter on Instagram by Toni Adeyemi, users randomly select an organization to donate to. This filter is an amazing inspiration for how it encourages a specific call to action. You can try out the filter here.

AR for Protestor Safety:

Censr is a camera app by Sam Loescen to protect the identities of protestors.

Are you feeling inspired?

I hope this inspires you to consider how AR can be utilized to push the Black Lives Matter movement forward. There is so much room for growth and innovation, I can’t wait to see what you create.

If you have any questions or know additional AR experiences that should be added to this list, you can email me at kaceyweiniger@gmail.com.

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