Haier And AUT Partner To Bring The Big Hoot Owl To Life

Haier has released an augmented reality app to bring children’s Big Hoot owl designs to life.

An augmented reality colouring-in mobile application will take the Big Hoot art trail from the streets of Auckland to kids nationwide.

The Big Hoot event, presented by Haier, brings story telling to the streets of Auckland through 47 bespoke Owl sculptures which will help raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation when they are auctioned.

The Haier Big Hoot Colouring mobile app, a collaboration between Haier and AUT’s AppLab allows kids nationwide to see how their Big Hoot owl design would look in real life using augmented reality technology.

“Colouring-in books have always been popular with kids as a way of creative expression,” said Kerri Hedley from Haier’s Sales & Marketing.

“We wanted kids from all over the country to be able to take part in the Big Hoot so we collaborated with the AUT AppLab to develop an app that brings state of the art technology to this classic children’s activity.

“The app empowers kids to become artists of the Big Hoot, making their own digital version of the sculptures seen around Auckland,” says Hedley.

Each of the 1.65m tall Owl sculptures are unique and have been designed by established and emerging artists; including Dick Frizzell and Mandii Pope who are holding the paintbrush for Haier’s two Owls that are part of the trail.

Through the Haier Big Hoot Colouring app kids can download and print a template from [URL], colour it in and then use the app to watch their design come to life as a flying and hooting owl.

AUT’s AppLab developed the app in collaboration with Conical Studios and AUT School of Art & Design postgraduate students as part of a summer scholarship. AppLab led the project and worked on the User Interface (UI) following Haier design concepts.

“Augmented Reality, otherwise known as AR superimposes digital objects into the physical world. This app is unique because it captures the creativity of the children’s artwork, embedding its colours into an animated owl, which hoots and flies,” says Dr Claudio Aguayo, R&D Director at AUT AppLab.

The Big Hoot trail is open to the public from 3 March until 6 May. Dick Frizzell’s owl Tecolote The Messenger will be stationed at Khartoum Place, and Mandii Pope’s BB-Owl will sit in Jellicoe Plaza until they are both auctioned off for the Child Cancer Foundation. The Haier Big Hoot Colouring app is available in phone app stores now.