- Intel has provided the technology to let Snapchat users experience a Smithsonian art exhibit with augmented reality (AR). The Renwick Gallery's "No Spectators: The Art of the Burning Man" exhibit has run since March 30 and will end on January 21, while the new AR experience is available until September 8, per Adweek. Intel is a sponsor of the exhibit.
- Intel and its agency OMD are promoting the feature on Snapchat and other digital channels to target audiences such as fans of cutting-edge technology, museum-goers and art lovers. The Snapchat experience functions with part of the exhibit, showing a single room from the Renwick Gallery with three sculptures from Burning Man.
- Intel has a partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to digitize the exhibition, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” in the Renwick Gallery into a virtual reality (VR) experience. This partnership is helping the Smithsonian American Art Museum support the Smithsonian’s goal of expanding the reach of the Institution’s collections to a billion people in the next five years, compared with the 30 million who visit Smithsonian facilities each year. Intel has also partnered with social VR platform Sansar on a new experience currently available that lets desktop users or those with a VR headset follow a museum guide through the Smithsonian.
As the Burning Man festival kicks off in the Nevada desert this week, Intel and the Smithsonian are showcasing an AR experience of artwork from the annual gathering that acts as a prelude to more immersive VR experiences later this year. AR experiences are generally more accessible to a wider audience, given the popularity of smartphones, while VR requires pricey equipment such as headsets and haptic gloves. In recent years, the Renwick Gallery has driven attendance by encouraging visitors to share photos and videos of their experiences on social media, and this AR experience is in line with its social media-focused strategy.
The Smithsonian's AR exhibit also is important to Snapchat, which helped to popularize the technology with its face filters and lenses that people share on its messaging platform. About 70 million Snapchat users access an AR lens every day and spend about 3 minutes playing with the feature, according to parent company Snap. AR is one way that Snapchat differentiates its app from Facebook's Instagram, which has copied other Snapchat features and reaches a bigger audience.
Intel is among the companies that are developing technology to enable AR and VR experiences. Intel's chips can be found in devices from HTC Vive, Facebook's Oculus, OSVR's Razer and Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality, according to its website. Intel in February gave a sneak peek of its Vaunt smart glasses that project AR images onto a wearer's retina so that see a stream of information while going about their daily lives. Intel plans to foster a developer community that will create apps for the device, per the Verge.