AR is helping to change entertainment

Augmented reality technology provides today’s experience-oriented youth the immersive entertainment they desire. Additionally, the use of AR as subject matter in film and TV reflects viewers’ curiosity with the new tech and their desire to understand both its positive and negative implications. The following films and TV series use AR to create a more immersive experience for modern youth who crave content that explores this evolving technology.


The new Netflix movie Anon starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried paints a bleak picture of augmented reality and the future of digital privacy. The film is set in a dystopian future in which AR implants record one’s every move and give police access to all of it through an interface called Ether. The film demonstrates how the technology works—from AR overlays that instantaneously give Owen’s character, a police officer, personal information on strangers he encounters to accessing video memories through Ether. The movie shows the dark side of AR as Owen and an AR hacker played by Seyfried attempt to catch a killer who’s hacked the memories of his victim and witnesses.


Memories of the Alhambra is the first Korean drama series that uses AR gaming as a plot device. The series follows the story of investment company CEO Yoo Jin Woo who, after visiting a hostel in Granada for a business trip, ends up staying. In the film, Yoo Jin Woo uses a smart lens to enter a game and ends up revealing an entirely different setting: Granada during the Middle Ages. As the series progresses, AR games expose new elements to drive the suspenseful romance. Memories of the Alhambra producer says that the choice to bridge romance and digital subject matter comes as a result of modern youth’s love of gaming.


Moviegoers who watched Wreck-It Ralph 2 in theaters were able to play an AR game as they waited for the film to start. Disney collaborated with cinema advertising network Noovie for the pre-show gaming experience. Audiences who showed up at least 20 minutes early to a screening could use the Noovie ARcade app to turn their wait time into game time. The Ralph Breaks the Internet game allowed moviegoers to virtually enter the Pancake Milkshake Café and use their smart devices to speedily feed the Kitty and Bunny. Such activations not only tap into modern’s youth love for gaming but also allow them to cut through the boredom of waiting with a new form of entertainment.