The goal of the campaign was to bring joy to the children in the hospital. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year children were unable to have a Christmas tree in their bedroom. As an alternative, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity wanted to give them the option to place an AR Christmas tree in their physical space.
Poplar Studio and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity collaborated on a world effect that allows children to virtually place a Christmas tree in their environment. The effect is an 8th Wall-powered Web AR experience, so all users need in order to access it is a mobile browser, rather than having to download any mobile app.
The tree comes with twinkling lights and decorations, including different-coloured Christmas baubles and animal decorations (Bumblebee, Butterfly, Caterpillar, Lion, Elephant, Kingfisher, Falcon, Fox, Robin, Koala, Bear and Panther). These animals represent the different wards in the Great Ormond Street Hospital, each of which is named after an animal. This creates a personalised experience for users, such as visitors and families, who are familiar with the animal theme.
When the Christmas tree first appears on the screen it rotates, so the user has a 360º perspective on it. They are then able to place it in their environment in whatever position they prefer. After this, the user is able to interact with the tree, making snow appear on the scene.
A ‘Try again’ button allows users to reactivate the experience and reload the tree, so that they can place it elsewhere if they wish to.
Finally, an image capture option allows users to take photos of themselves or their family around the Christmas tree, making it a family-friendly AR experience that can help families build memories around Christmas within the hospital.
Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity is planning on having QR codes around the hospital linking to the experience, which people will be able to simply scan using their smartphone to access the experience.
This AR project is a great example of how AR has the ability to bring joy and cheer into a physical space.
The experience received 1,500 views from hospital guests and families in the run-up to the winter holidays.