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Halloween Special: The Dark Side of Augmented Reality

Halloween, nowadays, is most commonly associated with spooky costumes, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, horror movies, excessive amounts of candy and scary pranks. But, what originated this tradition? With a little help from Wikipedia, one soon learns that the word Halloween is actually a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening – the night that precedes the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, followed by All Souls’ Day, a time dedicated to remembering the dead.

Back in the mid 700’s, it was believed that the link between the afterlife and the physical world was thinned on All Hallows’ Eve. For that reason, people would disguise their identities with costumes or masks in order to prevent being recognized by vengeful souls. That explains a lot.
In a modern technological association, some believe, in present-day, that augmented reality is thinning the link between the physical world and the digital world. If that is true, will there be a time in which we will have trouble distinguishing what is real and what is not? Some futuristic fictional storytellers seem to believe that is the not-so-distant case.

Despite the glaring benefits that augmented reality is bringing to various segments across the board, imaginative minds, as with all else, attempt to predict the outcome of a possible dark side of AR. In other words, how a benevolent technology could take, accidentally or not, a rather sinister path.
If you are a tech and/or horror genre fan, be inspired by the spookiest season of the year, gather your favorite peeps, plenty of popcorn and schedule a Halloween AR Movie Marathon. Below you will find a few movie recommendations – read till the end to find out how you can prank your gang with a good AR scare.

Unsettling AR horror films to watch this Halloween

Strange Beasts

This short film revolves around an AR game called Strange Beasts that allows players to create and interact with their own virtual pets. The digital animations are perceived directly in the user’s field of view with the aid of special contact lenses. The short film has an unexpected twist that shows how physical isolation could play a great role in futuristic settings.

Playtest (Black Mirror)

The Playtest episode of Black Mirror, the acclaimed science fiction anthology series from Netflix, perfectly illustrates the thinning link between the real world and the digital world. It tells the story of a man who signs up to test an innovative inner-fear-provoking AR gaming system. The game is so advanced that the test subject starts having trouble knowing where the game ends and reality begins. No spoilers!

Men Against Fire (Black Mirror)

Soldiers of the future use complex technologies and augmented reality to improve their overall combating skills and effectiveness. On a specific mission, set to protect villagers from invaders, one of the soldiers will have a full-scale experience.

Halloween - Black mirror

Credits: Black Mirror

Let’s Be Evil

A group of gifted children, kept in a maximum-security underground facility, rely on Augmented Reality to boost their advanced learning program. However, the newly hired student chaperones soon learn, the hard way, that something is terrifyingly wrong about the situation.

Halloween - lets be evil

Source: Let’s be Evil

No Halloween get-together is complete without a decent prank. So after watching the above-mentioned films with your friends, be prepared to give them an AR experience they won’t forget anytime soon.

Access our Augmented Reality Halloween App Tutorial to learn how to create your very own scary prank application. All it takes is 13 lines of coding! Use our award-winning AR SDK and get started!

About Andreas Hauser

Andreas studied applied computer science in Salzburg, Austria. After several instructive years at Sony DADC he joined Mobilizy/Wikitude in the very first days. He is now Head of the Android Development. He loves snowboarding and being challenged as a handball goal-keeper.

View all posts by Andreas Hauser

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