stablished in 1965, Simon Fraser University, better known as SFU, is Canada's leading comprehensive university with vibrant campuses in British Columbia's largest municipalities, Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey and deep roots in partner communities throughout the province and around the world.
Perched atop Burnaby Mountain, SFU's original Arthur Erickson-designed campus now includes more than three dozen academic buildings and is flanked by UniverCity, a flourishing sustainable residential community.
In the place where innovative education, cutting-edge research and community outreach intersect, you'll find Simon Fraser University, whose vision is to be Canada's leading engaged university.
As part of that engagement campaign, SFU host StreetFest! a community street festival held each year by SFU and the UniverCity Community Association to bring people together around the world and showcase the best of what the SFU community has to offer.
StreetFest! has been bringing communities together since 2018, however, this year, due to COVID-19 and for the health and safety of the community, SFU decided to innovate the way they hosted StreetFest! by using virtual spaces and augmented reality for both desktop and mobile.
The event was held on January 21 & 22 where students could come together and celebrate the SFU community in the virtual Academic Quadrangle at SFU StreetFest! Virtual 2021. Students were able to visit community booths using augmented reality, attend an activity session in our virtual lounge, or watch local musicians on our entertainment stage and much, much more.
This impressive multi-platform Mixed Reality (XR) event was developed and deployed entirely web-based, meaning that no app download was required to join in.
The WebXR event was developed by WebAR industry leaders Aircards, leveraging the company’s technologies, SFU were able to deliver a Mixed Reality version of their annual StreetFest! event, featuring WebVR, WebAR and 3D digital twins of real campus locations, giving students and community members the opportunity to connect in a variety of interactive, digital spaces.
Some of the interactive features included in the virtual event were:
AR videos played on virtual projectors, where users are welcomed by the President of the University as well as an indigenous welcome. One of the AR videos also showcased one student singing.
AR videos are an interactive way for users to watch clips and have a more meaningful experience than simply watching a YouTube video.
The virtual booths created for the SFU AR experience featured both internal and external organisations. Informing students about services such as the bookstore, student union and the local church.
Users can click to watch informational videos about the services and how to access them. Virtual Booths are a perfect way to engage with users during an online event. By utilising virtual booths, you can invite your exhibitors, partners, sponsors and speakers to a unique experience.
AR Interactive Maze Game
The Virtual Maze game aimed at SFU students, is an interactive AR maze game to take part in. The maze appears in the users own environment, with controls to move the ball to the finish line. Bright colours and the SFU design are an inviting way to get users to take part.
Virtual Art Gallery
The virtual art gallery created for SFU displays works of art in the users own environment. Users can select pieces of art and discover the name and the meaning behind the painting. A virtual art gallery creates an immersive environment for art viewing and discovery, at any time and from anywhere in the world, creating a memorable and engaging experience. It's an excellent way to boost engagement, education and (if applicable) sales.
Face Filter Selfie
The Selfie feature for SFU, places the users face, donned in SFU t-shirt and cap on the city's Gondola. From the Gondola, users can see the SFU campus in the background.
The feature allows the user to take a selfie, which can be shared to their social media platform.
The WebXR SFU event was a glowing example of how organisations can innovate and create a truly one off experience for users. Despite the pandemic, StreetFest! continues to be a vibrant social experience, connecting people not only in Burnaby, but also in the Greater Vancouver Area and beyond.
The event was a success, driving significant student and community engagement across the 2-days. The SFU StreetFest! Website posted:
“The event was a great success thanks to community participation from attendees and our partners.”
Web-based Mixed Reality offers an immersive alternative for forward thinking companies who want to continue to innovate the events.
About Aircards: Market-leading provider of WebAR marketing campaigns for Enterprise brands, including recent high-profile launches with Dell Technologies, Unilever (Pot Noodle) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Aircards provides an end-to-end service - from ideation to development and hosting. WebAR powered by 8th Wall, built by Aircards