Augmented and virtual reality are paradigm-changing technologies promising to make significant impacts on our daily lives.
Augmented reality (AR) is the technology used with laptops and mobile devices to insert virtual elements into real-world environments.
This interactivity has many possible applications, especially for the video and mobile gaming industry. A prime example of the potential of AR technology is the mobile game Pokémon Go! released in 2016.
Millions were obsessed with the mobile app that projected the popular fantasy creatures known as Pokémon into real-world environments. Players are given the ability to capture and train the virtual critters.
The game was a huge success and helped usher AR technology into the mainstream.
In the sci-fi short Strange Beasts written by Magali Barbé, a near future is presented where augmented reality has advanced to the next level.
The titular AR game allows players to design, create, modify, and bring to life their own virtual "pets."
Using technology that beams virtual elements directly onto the corneas of the eyes, these pets are constant companions who play, get into mischief, and demand attention just as most physical pets do.
However, the short's narrative takes an unexpected turn by introducing a disturbing Black Mirror-like twist. It is a story beat which acts as a sober reminder of the dark side of modern technology.
Strange Beasts is a very attractive short film. Its plot unfolds by having the fictional game's creator Victor Weber (Timothy Renouf), a posh European game developer, describe the app in a faux promotional video that riffs off those iconic Apple ads narrated by industrial designer Jony Ive.
Like the similarly themed sci-fi short Real Artists, watching Strange Beasts feels extremely prescient. It's like looking out a window and seeing life a few years into the future.
Watch Strange Beasts in its entirety...
Sending special thanks to our Twitter follower Timothy Duquesne for bringing this exceptional short film to our attention!
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