Hidden Creative brings digital spider ‘to life’ for BBC Worldwide’s Focus magazine

Manchester-based digital marketing agency Hidden Creative has created an augmented reality experience for the July issue of BBC  Worldwide’s Focus magazine, ‘The Science of Fear’, featuring a 3D spider.

FORWARD-thinking digital marketing agency Hidden Creative has designed the first augmented experience in which a spider appears to ‘come to life’.

The Manchester-based firm was commissioned by Focus to create an augmentation for July’s issue, published today (Thursday, June 3, 2010), featuring phobias and the science behind them.

The experience is inspired by Exposure Therapy, a popular treatment for phobias whereby the patient is gradually exposed to the source of their fear.

It aims to shock the user with a highly realistic animation in which a digital spider emerges and crawls quickly across the cover of the magazine.  This is visible via a monitor whilst held in view of a webcam.

Augmented reality amalgamates the real and the virtual by overlaying digital information on top of the ‘real world’ via the view of a camera.

The spider is brought to life by the positioning of augmented reality-enabled ‘markers’ in front of the camera. In this case, the cover of the magazine brings the spider experience to life and prompts the augmentation when revealed to your webcam.

Hidden Creative’s technical director Matt Trubow said:

“My goal was to make the reader believe the spider was real, subsequently drop the magazine and be left scratching their heads.”

“This issue of Focus takes an in-depth look at phobias and what better way of doing this than by using augmented reality to bring the experience to life.”

“It’s estimated that 50 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men suffer from a fear of spiders. The augmented reality aspect of the magazine is intended to help Focus readers challenge this well known fear.”

Hidden Creative has worked on the Focus commission with its partner Total Immersion, who provided the augmented reality software needed to bring the spider to life.

Focus is a monthly publication dedicated to science, technology and the future.

Jheni Osman, editor of Focus, said: “Superimposing the virtual world on the real world with augmented reality looks set to become part of our everyday lives.

“Focus is at the cutting-edge of this exciting paradigm shift with a special augmented reality issue.

“Hidden Creative and Total Immersion have really helped to bring this issue of Focus to life.”

Hidden Creative established a new division in March, Augmented Experience, as part of their progressive digital marketing strategy.  This portion of the company specialise in bleeding-edge technology to enhance the customer’s marketing techniques.

For more information about Hidden Creative’s new Augmented Experience division, visit www.augmentedexperience.com or phone 0161 605 0841.

For all Hidden Creative enquiries, please contact:

Matthew Trubow | Marketing Director | Hidden

T 0161 605 0841 | E matt@hiddenltd.com

For all Focus media enquiries, please contact:

Tabitha Morton | Press Office | Focus

T 0117 3148300 | E tabithamorton@bbcmagazines.com

Review of the experience done by one of Focus Reader:

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Hidden Creative and Augmented Experience

Hidden Creative was established in 2007 and is co-owned by Operations Director Peter O’Brien and Marketing Director Matt Trubow. It specialises in bespoke print and website design services as well as content management systems, social networking, e-marketing, art direction, photography and creating corporate identities. In March 2010, Matt Trubow launched Augmented Experience to enhance their customers’ websites and marketing campaigns through innovative technologies. For more information visit www.hiddenltd.com and www.augmentedexperience.com.

About Focus

Focus, the BBC’s popular science and technology monthly, brings readers a unique editorial proposition with a reliable and accessible voice through expert journalism and close links to acclaimed BBC programming. The magazine covers technology, discovery and exploration, the natural world, environmental issues and anything else that can be explained though science. It has a monthly circulation of 71,783 (ABC Jul-Dec 2009) and is published by BBC Magazines Bristol, a trading name of Bristol Magazines Ltd., which is a subsidiary of BBC Worldwide Ltd. For further information, visit www.bbcfocusmagazine.com.

About BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Digital Media, Sales & Distribution, Magazines, Home Entertainment and Global Brands. In 2008/09, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £102.6 million (before exceptionals) on sales of over £1 billion.

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