U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Enlist Augmented Reality From Total Immersion to Attract, Engage New Recruits

Today, Total Immersion announced that two branches of the U.S. Armed Forces are taking their recruiting efforts to a new level via distinct experimental augmented reality initiatives – solutions that educate and motivate as they engage.

The U.S. Army’s “Race for Strength Challenge” pits an Army-sponsored NASCAR vehicle — Ryan Newman’s #39 Army Chevrolet Impala — against the Army’s high-tech fleet, placing potential recruits into the action, via the Web (Army – Race for Strength) and through kiosks installed at select NASCAR events.  At the kiosks and online, players can race against MRAP and Stryker armored vehicles, through various (sometimes treacherous) environments.  Players control vehicles by means of a card or printout featuring a tracked image and a steering wheel.  The game is featured in the billboard promo loop on the goarmy.com homepage.

The racing game is an extension of the U.S. Army’s continuing effort to showcase its high-tech skills training and the various options and career opportunities it offers.
“Army – Race for Strength,” the newest element in the interactive, participatory Strength in Action Zone exhibit at major NASCAR and NHRA races, made its debut simultaneously in four locations: at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., during Speed Week preceding NASCAR’s Daytona 500; at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., as part of festivities surrounding the NHRA’s Kragen O’Reilly Winternationals; at McCormick Place at the Chicago International Automobile Show; and online.

At the same time, the U.S. Air Force has kicked off “Command Center Alpha,”    its newest mobile marketing tour (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123201086).   Command Center Alpha is an AR mobile tour experience that immerses visitors in the “sci-fi” world of the Air Force.  The interactive tour includes 3-D computer graphics, videos, educational kiosks, digital downloads and a full-size F-16 Thunderbird display.  Visitors use handheld devices, which rely on natural image tracking, enabling them to experience augmented reality in the form of 3-D animations and video.

The mobile marketing tour is an extension of the Air Force’s sci-fi advertising campaign, which showcases technology that was once regarded as science fiction, but that the Air Force is actually deploying today.  Against that backdrop, Command Center Alpha highlights the variety of job opportunities the Air Force offers.   The mobile tour got under way at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Fla. on April 21, and will include stops at major events and venues throughout the summer.  The tour’s next stops: Nashville and St. Louis.

Total Immersion worked with Momentum Worldwide’s Chicago-based team and TimeZoneOne, also of Chicago on the Army campaign, while GSD&M Idea City of Austin, Texas teamed with TI on the Air Force campaign.

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