The University of East Anglia (UEA)
This is the idea
Every year, Higher Education advisers from the UEA attend UCAS fairs up and down the country to encourage students to come to the university. But, despite being one of the top institutions in the country, often students have no idea where the UEA or Norwich is – let alone anything about the city. Surrounded by hundreds of other unis and jostling for the attention of thousands of teenagers, the UEA wanted to stand out from the crowd at UCAS fairs – and educate students about themselves in a way that was forward-thinking, unique and intriguing, while still fitting in the restricted space of the event stand. So we suggested AR.
Using the text lock-ups on the stand design as markers, we created an augmented reality app specifically for the iPads already used to collect data on the stand. Once the students input their key details, they can launch the app and discover hidden content simply using the image on the stand – creating a journey of discovery that not only shows just how fun and innovative the UEA is, but also plays into Norwich’s reputation as a ‘best kept secret’.
This is how we did it
The stand design shows an aerial view of the UEA campus with five different text lockups that refer to aspects of university life. Using Vuforia technology we turned each statement into a unique marker that triggers different content depending on the subject matter. For example, ‘This is impact’ triggers content relating to the UEA’s award-winning research while ‘This is home’ shows content relating to student accommodation, facilities and friendship groups. To make the experience as visually engaging as possible, we used a mix of different media including both 360 and 2D video and images, as well as 3D models and animations. The user can move closer to explore all the different information in detail and discover more about UEA and Norwich – and if they look close enough, they can even find hidden ‘easter egg’ content.
The entire app is supported by a back-end system that tracks each user’s experience and provides analytics, helping UEA understand what topics prospective students are most interested in – allowing them to tailor content down the line for each individual student who signed up to hear more. Launched in March 2019, the app is designed to be expanded further with a view to making it downloadable at home. But for now, it’s helping attract prospective students to the UEA stand and giving them a taste of the ‘best kept secret’ that is Norwich.
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