Car rides, once occassions for mindless rounds of "I Spy" or the classic "License Plate Game," become speeding greenscreens for virtual recreations of cinema's most memorable car scenes in Sander Veenhof's augmented reality app, Autocue. Complete with soundtracks and prompted dialogue, the app couples backseat smartphones and Google Glass-wearing ones in a new age trivia game full of Tarantino wordplay and unkempt harmonization, courtesy of the cast from Wayne's World.
Autocue is the latest iteration of Veenhof's Meet Your Stranger project, started in 2011, which taps into society's obsessive attachment to our smartphones and explores the venues in which this love-hate relationship has resulted in disparaging detachment. “With our Meet Your Stranger concept, we wanted to invite people to do the opposite," Veenhof tells The Creators Project. "It uses a theater script that's split across two phones, so you need another person to get the full experience, by both speaking out your part of a dialogue."
Once activated across all users' devices, the app stages a chosen scene, ranging from Harold and Kumar to Pulp Fiction, and plays out lines of dialogue with the cadance of its original delivery. Like a filmic karaoke, the car gets swept up into a roadside roleplaying game, which, with an added Google Glass, even includes the driver. “Instead of feeling lost, being the only one that's not immersed in a smartphone or tablet, you can now join a lively conversation—if you're wearing a Google Glass, that is,” Veenhof says. “The lines appearing in front of your eyes are in sync with the lines and instructions appearing on the smartphones of fellow passengers in the car, and the person in the back seat contributes an appropriate soundtrack [...] so anyone can step in and join at any time.”
Although the app is still in its early stages, Veenhof hopes to expand the scenes and advance the AR effects into a several-user game with a crop of new narratives. "At the moment, we have chosen a set of movie scenes featuring two or more people having conversations inside cars," he concludes. "We plan to change the scenes periodically and add some new scenes from fictional, nonexisting movies, too. Dialogues written specifically for passengers with smartphones and AR glasses. Eventually, of course, we hope Mini will include Autocue in their AR device too!"
For more of Sander Veenhof's virtual adventures, check out his website.