How to use Augmented Reality in a haunt?

Augmented reality (AR) is a great way to add something new to your haunt. There are a lot of creative ways to incorporate it into your haunt but all of them include a few basic elements to get started:

1) A Screen

A popular way of implementing AR into a haunt is to mount a screen vertically and then make a frame around it to look like mirror or picture frame. You can also put the screen behind 2 way mirrored glass to get a more true mirror effect. These are usually best for face effects but AR doesn’t just have to be face effects. Some other ways of using AR on a display are to set it up as a “security camera” screen like you see in stores letting you know you’re being monitored or go REALLY big and do an interactive projection on a wall.

*Tip: If you are doing a screen in portrait mode (vertical) you need to make sure you rotate the screen in your display settings on your Mac/PC.

2) A Computer

Next let’s talk about the computer. This works with both PC and Mac. To do some basic AR you don’t need anything too powerful however that does help it run smoother. Anything built in the last 3-4 years should be good, but more intense 3D effects might do better with a faster computer.

The software itself is extremely easy to run. Install it, open it, then open one of the augmented reality project files you get from me, make it full screen, and you’re done! If you can open a word document you can do this, I promise.

3) A Webcam

The webcam is one of the tricker parts and there are a few things to consider to help get the most out of your AR experience. Any webcam that works with your computer will work with AR but the better image quality you have from the webcam the better the effect will be. I have used basic logitech webcams all the way up to DSLR cameras connected to HDMI capture cards. As you pick a webcam consider how you will mount it in your haunt.

Once you have a webcam first and foremost you need to make sure that there is enough light on the people walking by that the webcam can actually see them. If it’s too dark the camera will have a hard time tracking their faces. Next we need to think about placement of the camera. A good starting point is to have it positioned above the screen and pointing down towards people. The screen size you use makes a big difference in how far from the center of the screen your camera is. This can make it so really tall people or really short people are harder for the camera to see. Also the distance people are going to be from your screen plays a part in this as well. You will likely have to play around with the placement and angle until you get something that works for your setup, but find that sweet spot and you will maximize the effect for most people.

AR Project Request