Current develops AR app for The Intel Experience

Intel has launched an interactive zone exclusively at Best Buy stores featuring Mars Escape, an augmented reality game developed by Current Labs, in partnership with Arc Worldwide in Chicago.

“We designed the Intel Experience with Best Buy, from the ground up, to create an environment where shoppers could experience cutting-edge technologies that they’ve only read about,” says CJ Bruno, President of Intel Americas, in a promotional video that launches the event. “We’ve heard about augmented reality, but what is it really like to interact with that?”


At the Intel Experience, users drive one of three Rovers over a physical replica of Mars. With an impending asteroid collision heading for Mars, the goal is to collect power pods to help launch your Rover off the red planet. 

The app uses the latest in edge-detection and extended tracking computer vision, allowing the Rover to understand and interact dynamically with each crevice of the rugged terrain. The Mars landscape is superimposed with a 3D colony in a seamless blend of digital with the physical.

“The Mars Escape app reflects months of collaboration between teams at Current, Arc and Intel, pushing the boundaries of AR with a bold design and user experience,” says Matt Fegan, VP Operations at Current. “When you bring together creative and innovative minds, great things happen.”

For Current, the role in the Intel Experience is the latest in a string of prominent firsts in interactive marketing at retail.

“We always position ourselves as pioneers of new technologies,” says Steve Martell, VP Creative Technologies at Current. “The Mars Escape app is our latest venture into the retail marketing world as we bring this interactive experience to the consumer in a new and exciting way.”

“The augmented reality experience appeals to tech enthusiasts as well as those who are just curious what this red object is in the middle of the Best Buy,” continues Martell. “When they point the tablets at the physical rockface for the first time and see this digital environment overlayed that they can then interact with -- that’s the wow moment.” 

In addition to the app development, Current produced several animated segments to contribute to promotional videos for Mars Escape running in retail and online.

"From concept to execution, the experience has been touched by a range of talent on our team from designers and animators to game developers and programmers as well as editors and producers,” says Fegan.