Invading cities across the USA with Star Wars starships in augmented reality
R/GA / Samsung
ARCore on Samsung Members App
Every Samsung Galaxy phone comes pre-loaded with the Samsung Members app. Yet with over 50 million apps installed, only 0.03% of customers ever open it.
To ignite excitement around Samsung’s app, Plai partnered with R/GA and leveraged the launch of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to build an official Star Wars AR experience natively inside of the Samsung app. The experience was a success, Invasion #withGalaxy led to a 36% increase in daily active users.
Achieving the cinematic quality of Star Wars in AR was a daunting task. Star Wars fans are famously critical, and the ships had to stay true to every detail of the film. Plai was provided the models, textures, and sound direct from ILM, but now we had another problem– optimising gigs and gigs of hollywood VFX data into an authentic Star Wars experience that ran in realtime on a phone.
To breathe life into the ships, we re-created each ship’s animation, triggered the ships’ sounds from the film, and added special effects, like thruster exhaust. Dynamic light estimation was then used to achieve realistic compositing of the starcrafts into whatever the environment the user was in.
Invasion #withGalaxy was launched at the opening of The Rise of Skywalker, geofenced to the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles. Over the following days the 6 ships, and their geofences, fanned out across the country to select cities. To no one’s surprise, the rest of the country saw the ships invading their social feeds and demanded they come to their towns. We lifted the geofence, and the Invasion #withGalaxy took off.