Virtual reality

In Pittsburgh, augmented reality is changing the way stories are told

PITTSBURGH, September 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Augmented Pittsburgha digital storytelling platform developed by Joe Zeff Design to help people more fully experience Pittsburgh through augmented reality, launches today.

Augmented Pittsburgh is a digital storytelling platform to help people more fully experience Pittsburgh through augmented reality. QR codes throughout the city unlock virtual experiences. The QR code in the image is scannable with any mobile phone to show a holographic image of Joe Zeff from Joe Zeff Design explaining the first-of-its-kind citywide platform.

Augmented Pittsburgh was developed by Joe Zeff Design, a pioneer in interactive storytelling and augmented reality.

Augmented reality blends virtual objects with the real world when viewed through a mobile phone. The technology was popularized by Pokémon Go, an augmented reality app that was downloaded more than 500 million times after its launch in 2016. Since then, augmented reality has evolved so that users no longer need to download an app, and can access experiences using QR codes, text messages and hyperlinks.

Pittsburghers awoke this morning to their first Augmented Pittsburgh experience, promoted on the front page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After readers scan a QR code, sportswriter Gerry Dulac appears on screen as if in the same room, small enough to stand on their breakfast table. His report on the Pittsburgh Steelers, delivered exclusively through augmented reality, is part of a new weekly series titled The Acrisure Fan Advantage that will run throughout the football season.

To experience it yourself, visit post-gazette.com/acrisurefanadvantage

More activations are planned this fall. Augmented Pittsburgh will deploy QR codes throughout the city in partnership with POGOH, the citywide bikeshare program. Augmented reality experiences at 38 stations will help residents, visitors and college students better understand how to access the bicycles. A button at the bottom of the screen will help users download an app to purchase a membership or ride plan.

Later this year, a partnership with Comcast and the August Wilson African American Cultural Center will put Augmented Pittsburgh experiences inside Xfinity stores. QR codes on posters will unlock augmented reality experiences featuring Tony MurphySenior Vice President of Comcast’s Keystone Region, and Janis Burley WilsonPresident/CEO of the AWAACC, to familiarize Xfinity customers with the AWAACC and the many ways Comcast supports communities throughout the region.

Augmented Pittsburgh was conceived by Joe Zeff, president of Joe Zeff Design. The former Graphics Director of TIME magazine, Joe has been a pioneer in interactive storytelling, designing and developing some of the world’s first iPad apps and emerging as a leader in augmented reality.

“Augmented reality is an incredible way to tell stories,” said Zeff. “We can use QR codes or text messages to place a real person directly in front of you to tell you something you might not already know. We can showcase our amazing city by providing more ways for Pittsburghers to share their amazing stories.”

Since relocating from the New York City area last fall, Joe Zeff Design has partnered with several Pittsburgh companies and organizations to deploy augmented reality experiences. Last week, 70,622 fans at the nationally televised Pitt-West Virginia football game — the largest crowd ever to attend Pittsburgh sporting event — were presented the opportunity to experience augmented reality by sending a text message to a phone number displayed on the scoreboard.

To see what fans experienced, text the word JOE to +1 (412) 752-1752.

“Augmented reality is magical,” Zeff said. “We can bring posters and murals to life. We can put artists, singers and dancers on every street corner. We can take you inside buildings without ever leaving the sidewalk. We can deliver experiences anywhere and everywhere, to show people in Pittsburgh and around the world what makes this city special.”

For a demo, scan the QR code at augmentedpittsburgh.com, text the word PITTSBURGH to +1 (412) 752-1752, or go directly to qrco.de/augpgh on your mobile phone.

For more information regarding Augmented Pittsburgh, or to discuss ways to leverage augmented reality to help your company or organization sell, market or communicate more effectively, contact Joe Zeff at joe@joezeffdesign.com.

The front page of today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shows sportswriter Gerry Dulac holding a QR code that initiates an augmented reality experience called The Acrisure Fan Advantage.  Every Thursday during the NFL season, a Post-Gazette sportswriter will deliver a report about the Steelers' next game using augmented reality.  The Acrisure Fan Advantage is part of Augmented Pittsburgh, a digital storytelling platform developed by Joe Zeff Design to help people more fully experience Pittsburgh.

The front page of today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shows sportswriter Gerry Dulac holding a QR code that initiates an augmented reality experience called The Acrisure Fan Advantage. Every Thursday during the NFL season, a Post-Gazette sportswriter will deliver a report about the Steelers’ next game using augmented reality. The Acrisure Fan Advantage is part of Augmented Pittsburgh, a digital storytelling platform developed by Joe Zeff Design to help people more fully experience Pittsburgh.

As part of Augmented Pittsburgh, QR codes on POGOH bikeshare stations throughout Pittsburgh will initiate augmented reality experiences to help residents, visitors and college students better understand how to access the bicycles and download an app required to purchase a membership or ride plan.

As part of Augmented Pittsburgh, QR codes on POGOH bikeshare stations throughout Pittsburgh will initiate augmented reality experiences to help residents, visitors and college students better understand how to access the bicycles and download an app required to purchase a membership or ride plan.

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SOURCE Joe Zeff Design, Inc.

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