Ara on Mars

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The Client

Ara Institute of Canterbury, one of the largest tertiary education providers in New Zealand, commissioned JIX Reality to expand their visionary concept of the ‘Ara Advantage’ by designing and building an interactive Augmented Reality display for young aspiring students at the 2018 NZ Career Expo.


The Challenge

- The career expo is a cluttered space with more than 60 exhibits where each institution gets less than ten minutes to engage with the visitors. Traditional exhibit touch points of brochures, videos and kiosks lack the ex-factor needed to capture and retain the attention of the visitors. 

- Short attention span among visitors.
- High levels of distraction in the environment.
- Limited exhibit space.
- Unfamiliarity with the brand prior to the exhibit.

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The Solution

The Ara Advantage is all about enhancing student lives with quality education and encouraging them to dream of unconventional futuristic careers. To convey this effectively, we custom-built a short Augmented Reality Mars Adventure (#AraOnMars) that transported the young visitors to planet Mars, allowing them to imagine their future as an astronaut or space scientist and moonwalk the way Neil Armstrong would have.

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A large screen AR rendering of the Mars surface was created with real-time interaction. The experience allowed visitors to visualise themselves on Mars with an astronaut, rover and space kiwi for company. It included playful and imaginative engagement with characters on screen and offered photo opportunities for the visitors to be shared on social media. The photos were all marked with Ara’s brand elements ensuring a lasting brand recall. A host of cutting edge XR technologies were deployed to create a robust and adaptable experience.



 #AraOnMars was a first of its kind large-screen AR experience in NZ. Over two thousand people visited the Ara event space over the course of three days at the expo with hundreds of mentions on Facebook to deliver an impactful brand activation. It helped position Ara as an imaginative, playful and inclusive education space.


Start a Project With Us

Want to indulge your potential customers in an out of this world experience like the Mars adventure? Email us for customisation, licencing of off-the-shelf content packages and installation information.

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