Augmented reality with a video package

The immersive experiences created by augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can still only go so far in terms of content quality and interactivity. With its Overlap Reality® technology, the start-up SkyBoy is bringing AR to new heights.

“Skyboy layers cutting-edge cinematic expertise over AR technology, guaranteeing very high-quality content”

The start-up SkyBoy has been deploying its concept of Overlap Reality® for eight years now, in a range of different contexts and use cases, spanning the cultural, tourism and event industries. To give life to an immersive experience weaving a link between physical and digital experience, the company creates something like a small metaverse for mobile, laying cutting-edge cinematic expertise over AR technology, guaranteeing very high-quality content.

Patented Overlap Reality® technology

The promise of this patented Overlap Reality® technology is to create a situation in which the real world enhances immersion. AR platforms often provide a first level of solutions that involve adding effects and filters to a shot. SkyBoy goes further. In 2020, François-Xavier Goemaere, SkyBoy CEO and Co-Founder, explains that “our goal is to have a raw material, for which we control the cinematic experience from start to finish. We rely on our SkyBoy Studio and an animation studio to capture real-life 360° images using real actors. Once the video package has been reworked and given the green light, the technology takes over. This package is exported to our platform, which geotags it and determines where the video can be activated. This might be anywhere or at a specific location. All users need to do is connect to either WiFi or 4G/5G and access this content via the browser of their smartphone or tablet. They can quite literally open a window onto the story they’re being told via content that overlaps with reality”.

An enhanced solution

Based on experience and listening to what its customers need, SkyBoy has developed new features and integrated them into the original concept, making Overlap Reality an end-to-end solution. One early development of theirs made it possible to tailor experiences to products. Such experiences could be activated anywhere, not just at a specific location. The switch to browser mode also made content more accessible since needing the app had been an obstacle for the audience. SkyBoy also enables the production of a wide range of activations, from games (gamification) to the conversion of experiences into NFTs. Finally, the “marketing platform” brick added in 2018 allows to collect, analyze and use the data from each experience: “We attract highly skilled audiences and it was important to allow our clients to get feedback on their campaigns”.

Overlap Reality boosting acceptance of 5G projects

Thanks to 5G increasing performance in terms of throughput and latency, SkyBoy is about to reach a whole new level of quality and interactivity. In season 1 of the Orange Fab 5G acceleration programme, the start-up is exploring these topics and collaborating with the Group on a new project. Preparing and deploying the next generation of mobile networks has proved problematic in terms of acceptance and SkyBoy is using its expertise to help keep affected residents informed. Raphaël Lestienne from the Ile-de-France UPR (Unité de Pilotage Réseau — network control unit) explains: “We are negotiating with major project backers to install new antenna or upgrade existing equipment. We therefore have a duty of care, which is most often expressed in the form of signage, both before and during construction work, in the stairwells or at the entrances of the buildings affected. In partnership with SkyBoy, we wanted to go further than these formal displays since it’s impossible for us to know how effective they are. So an experiment will be [has been] carried out in 2021 on a pilot site, consisting of a geotagged Overlap Reality photomontage before and after the antenna’s installation. It will take the form of one of the Orange employees working on the project. In this way, we are giving the works a human face and sharing information that occupants would previously have had to find for themselves. This information will cover integration procedures specifically and mobile networks and electromagnetic waves more generally. Then, at the end of the Overlap Reality experience, occupants will be invited to consult dedicated resources via a click-to-action. And we will be able to analyse the impact of the campaign, by seeing how many people have accessed the experience and so on”.

At VivaTech 2022, SkyBoy is presenting an experience enhanced by collaboration with Orange 5G Lab.

Updated on June 14, 2022.

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