Thanks to A-ha’s “Take On Me,” I Finally See Augmented Reality’s Potential

This is truly a brave new world in which we live.

Much has been made of augmented reality, a technology that basically allows you to overlay digital interfaces and displays over the real world through a smartphone or some other viewing device. For example, when grocery shopping, augmented reality could display maps to help you find what you’re looking for or display additional information (e.g., nutritional values, recommended recipes, coupons) for specific items.

But while a futuristic approach to grocery shopping is a fairly obvious application of augmented reality, it also seems rather… pedestrian. Be honest: when you were a kid imagining the future, did you really dream about a high-tech approach to buying groceries? Or did you imagine entering and exploring whole new worlds and realities — especially those from the greatest music videos of all time?

That’s precisely what the Chicago-based studio Trixi did when they used Apple’s ARKit, some game development software, and an iPhone to recreate one of the most iconic music videos of all time — A-ha’s “Take On Me” — as an actual, explorable environment. Granted, it’s more a tech demo than anything else, but what Trixi have accomplished here certainly fires the imagination. If nothing else, it’s way cooler than seeing a pop-up displaying the nutritional value of kale.

This is truly a brave new world in which we live.

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