Botanica AR was featured at the 2022 Snap Partner Summit as one of their first connected lenses – where users can have shared AR experiences through the Snapchat app . It was conceived as a joint partnership between Snap, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and QREAL, where I was lead technologist and designer.
Concept and Creation
Snap reached out our team at QReal with an open request for a augmented reality experience that could showcase their new connected lenses technology.
After a couple of brainstorming sessions we came up with the idea of a communal garden, where user’s would take the role of bee’s growing flowers on a persistent digital environment.
We partnered with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which provided us the perfect setting for our garden at the newly renovated Newtown Creek Nature walk at Greenepoint, NYC.
On Site Research
In order to create an effective location based AR experience, it is fundamental to visit the actual site in person. During my visit I created extensive documentation, photos and videos, that would guide the development team while creating the assets.
Originally, the concept included the use of custom landmarks, where AR objects would be anchored to specific real world locations, but this was later deemed a limiting factor, as Snap decided to make game more accessible to users around the world.
Based on a list of flowers indigenous to the park, I created dozens of concept illustrations that would then guide the 3D modeling and animation process.
Botanica was successfully launched by SNAP in 2022.
Developed at QREAL.