“When a popular fashion brand moves into an iconic location in the world’s most famous square, it calls for something epic. Something shocking. Something disruptive. Something that the hundreds of thousands of people who pass through Times Square every day can’t miss.
To avoid being just another fashion billboard, we created a revolutionary digital billboard that features models interacting with Times Square’s ever-present crowd. Using innovative computer vision technology, the models snap pictures of people on the street, then pick them up, kiss them, put them in their bags, and more. The interactions change constantly, just like Forever 21’s inventory and brand promise.”
The billboard relies on technology that’s usually used in government or security surveillance, and the digital agency, Space150, had to consult surveillance experts to pull it off. Above the 61-ft.-high space, a high-definition Prosilica camera captures the crowd. But then, software picks apart the individuals in the crowd, and selects some for a digital composite built in real time, which is then used in the interactions with the virtual model on screen.
The software even picks up the yellow of the Forever 21 bag, so that anyone holding one is more likely to get noticed by the model. (If someone actually goes into the store, there are a now heat sensors that detect their bags, and cause a bunch of flash bulbs surrounding the threshold to go off, simulating dozens of paparazzi.)
”If you see the way the computer works, it’s like Predator or something,” says Billy Jurewicz, founder and CEO of Space150. “Each person has a halo with data.” Adds Jurewicz, “The board now is like the iPod 1.0. We’re going to be updating this more and more.” Future versions, with better cameras, might include the model holding a magnifying glass to the crowd, or picking someone up and holding them up to the face of the billboard, so the entire crowd can get a closer look. “People just love to see themselves.” And the billboard is a huge mirror in Times Square, one of the most famous places in the world.
- One Show Interactive – Silver
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This is fantastic! Would love to see something like this done in Sydney!