The HoloLens is still a device primarily geared toward developers, but that hasn’t stopped Japan’s Hello Kitty from adding its pop culture power to the augmented reality device’s suite of apps.
On Tuesday, Sanrio launched Hello Kitty on Actiongram, the HoloLens app that allows users to create short videos using a large array of holographic animations.
There are 14 animations included in the Hello Kitty pack, some of which can be seen in a short demonstration video (below) called “Vacation Kitty,” created by well known Vine animator Alicia Herber.
The Japanese icon joins 500 other Actiongram animations, which include aliens, zombies, Warcraft characters and even a dancing Star Trek legend (George Takei).
But why launch such a well-known brand on a $3,000 device that only a handful of people have access to?
“Sanrio is always looking for the newest trends and collaborations, including augmented reality,” says Egita Di Filippo, a member of Sanrio’s digital team. “Mixed reality storytelling is an interesting new medium for expressing creativity which allows the many Hello Kitty fans to engage with and experience her in an entirely new way.”
Sanrio’s move to get into the augmented reality game early makes sense, as many analysts and CEOs are predicting that it will rival virtual reality in the coming years as newest content platform.
The Hello Kitty HoloLens video created by Herber is just one of a series of short HoloLens videos Microsoft helped a select group of social media users create. For those unfamiliar with how the HoloLens works, the wearable device allows you to place and record three-dimensional, augmented reality shapes, characters and animations that can viewed through the device, or recorded to video (up to five minutes each).
But while the augmented reality videos present intriguing possibilities for future mixed reality productions, for now, due to cost and the developer-centric nature of the device, these videos are more proof of concept than mainstream creation tool. Nevertheless, Sanrio appears to be interested in developing more augmented reality content for the HoloLens.
“We have a couple more projects up our sleeves for 2017,” says Di Filippo, “to continue the momentum around the globe.”
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