HOTSTEP­PER

Computer Arts - - Industry Issues - BY NEXUS STU­DIOS http://hotstep­per.dance

To co­in­cide with the open­ing of its new US of­fice in Los An­ge­les, Nexus Stu­dios launched HotStep­per, the world’s first aug­mented re­al­ity char­ac­ter-based wayfind­ing app. The In­ter­ac­tive Arts team at Nexus Stu­dios built a be­spoke sys­tem that uses a com­bi­na­tion of GPS co­or­di­nates, your phone’s com­pass and vec­tor in real-world space (ac­celerom­e­ter) and map­ping data in order to cal­cu­late your lo­ca­tion and ren­der HotStep­per as your vir­tual wayfind­ing buddy. “There were a lot of tech­ni­cal chal­lenges to over­come to make our char­ac­ter feel present with you on the street,” re­veals Alex Jenk­ins, cre­ative di­rec­tor at Nexus Stu­dios in Lon­don. “We made full use of the just launched ARKit to get away from track­ing mark­ers, com­bined with ge­olo­ca­tion and map­ping tech­nolo­gies to keep the HotStep­per walk­ing along­side you.” En­abling the team to push sto­ry­telling, tech­nol­ogy and in­ter­ac­tion into a new place, unique mo­ments are trig­gered in re­al­time to ‘live change’ the char­ac­ter or story, such as his hair­style when you walk past a hair­dresser. “We use the term ‘lo­ca­tion based sto­ry­telling’, we’re very ex­cited about its fu­ture po­ten­tial,” states Jenk­ins.

01 HotStep­per in-app photo de­signed by Nexus Stu­dios. 02 The HotStep­per char­ac­ter was de­lib­er­ately made to be com­i­cal. 03 HotStep­per char­ac­ter de­sign de­vel­op­ment.

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