Space Discovery

  • Augmented Reality
  • Game Development
  • Software Development

Each year the ABC run a three-night-long broadcast called “Stargazing Live”. The series immerses the audience in a celebration of the night sky, educating and inspiring Australians about space discovery.

In partnership with the ABC and Google, we were tasked with amplifying this annual event and creating a closer relationship between the audience and the presenters.

Elevating a live broadcast

Space Discovery is an interactive augmented reality app built to work in conjunction with the show so that people at home could be even more immersed.

The challenge was to create an at-home experience that reinforced the on-screen broadcast and better-connected users to the hosts as opposed to stealing their attention.

For those who were using the app during the live broadcast, the app would respond and animate based on what was being presented on screen. As TV host Brian Cox taught and informed viewers about the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), a 3D representation mirrored this information in AR for app users at home. As Brian commented on specific parts of the ISS, the 3D model would animate and highlight for the users at home, creating an even richer and informative viewing experience and making them feel like part of the live broadcast.

Maximising Impact

To extend the life of the application beyond the live broadcast, we designed additional educational AR games inspired by the various themes of the show.

In one of the games, players were able to control various spacecraft to assemble the ISS for themselves right in their living room, testing their memory of the live broadcast. Another experience highlighted the growing problem of space debris in a fun AR game that challenged players to use lasers and destroy any junk before it hit and damaged the ISS

ABC Space Discovery was on the top ten list of educational apps in Australia and the USA during the campaign in 2018.