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Gorillaz turn the world into a stage with augmented reality

Four animated musicians stand several stories high in the middle of Times Square.

Whether it’s trying on virtual lipstick or trying out products in the space around you, augmented reality (AR) continues to blend the physical and digital worlds. It’s transforming the way we shop, learn, navigate and experience the world together. And for artists and creators, AR can be used as an immersive way to bring fans and supporters closer to their content in new ways.

With Google’s newly released ARCore Geospatial API, which opens up more than 15 years of our understanding of the world through Google Maps, these immersive experiences can now be deployed at world-scale in more than 100 countries. Thanks to our knowledge from building Google Maps and learning about building geometry, content creators can turn cities into live canvases.

Throughout this year, Gorillaz, the world’s biggest virtual band, and leading real-time animation specialists Nexus Studios, used our ARCore Geospatial API to reimagine what’s possible.

The result is “Gorillaz Presents,” available for pre-install on Android and iOS: an experience that sees the British band revolutionize the concept of a music video with a world-scale immersive performance that will allow fans to gather together to witness Gorillaz play in larger-than-life AR. Directed by artist and Gorillaz’ co-creator Jamie Hewlett and Emmy-nominated director Fx Goby, the “Skinny Ape” performances utilize our AR Core Geospatial API to transform public spaces with cultural experiences, bringing the world of Gorillaz to life like never before.

Animated musician stands larger-than-life overlooking New York City.

Band members Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel will tower over fans, playing in the midst of two of the world’s most iconic skylines. The first-of-their kind immersive performances of the band’s new track “Skinny Ape” will kick off December 17 in New York City’s Times Square at 2:30 PM ET, with the band taking over London’s Piccadilly Circus at 2:00 PM GMT on December 18.

If you can’t make it in person, you can still download the app and interact with the AR experience in New York, London and elsewhere as it will be available through June 2023. As a bonus, Android users will soon receive exclusive imagery of the AR experience in the “Gorillaz Presents” app so they can relive the action anywhere.

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