Amazon has joined the ranks of film and TV studios using the power of augmented reality to engage fans looking to go behind passive screen viewing.
To that end, Amazon has quietly launched the Amazon AR Player app.
The free app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, allows users to experience a personal introduction to the furry cast of Amazon's new streaming TV series The Pack.
Hosted by Olympic gold medalist and multiple World Cup champion ski racer Lindsey Vonn, The Pack follows a group of colorful dog owners from around the world as they compete, alongside their pooches, in a number of physical challenges. At stake is a $500,000 grand prize as well as $250,00 to the animal charity of their choice.
Most of Amazon's original programming has focused on scripted content, so the introduction of reality TV to the company's streaming mix was the perfect opportunity to try something new in the way of building awareness — dogmented reality (Amazon's pun, not ours).
When you open the app, you're presented with the option to scan a QR code which allows you to view and interact with AR versions of the 13 dogs featured in the series, including Vonn's own pooch, Lucy.
The life-sized dogs not only bark and follow your gaze, but you can even virtually pet them by tapping the screen. There's also an option that lets you take a photo of a friend posing next to one of the four-legged reality stars.
Of course, as with all things Amazon, there's a shopping tie-in. On select boxes that Amazon customers receive for normal purchases, there's a special QR code that you can scan using the Amazon AR Player app to bring the dogs into your home.
But if you don't have access to the real box, no worries, you can scan the graphic below to get the same result.
Amazon first tested this dynamic out back in October for Halloween when it introduced special boxes with QR codes that allowed users to bring specially decorated AR pumpkins into their homes. That experience was produced in conjunction with Austin-based immersive innovation studio Subvrsive.
Aside from promoting Amazon Prime Video, this latest AR treat from the company is also a quick and easy way for anyone to get a little virtual doggo love if they're not lucky enough to have their own pet. The Pack is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, November 20.
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