News: 'Atlanta' Actor Lakeith Stanfield Walks an Augmented Reality Tightrope for New York Times Magazine

'Atlanta' Actor Lakeith Stanfield Walks an Augmented Reality Tightrope for New York Times Magazine

The New York Times has made a habit of publishing augmented reality stories throughout 2018, and now the media giant's magazine is getting into the act, too.

As a tie-in to its annual "Great Performers" issue, which recognizes the top thespians of the year in the eyes of Times critics A.O. Scott and Wesley Morris, a new augmented reality experience is now available through the NY Times app for iPhones and iPads.

Using the volumetric capture method that the Times debuted for a feature on model Ashley Graham, the experience spotlights a 3D performance by actor Lakeith Stanfield. You may remember him for his breakout role as Darius Epps in the TV series Atlanta, his depiction of Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, or his critically-acclaimed starring turn in this year's Sorry to Bother You.

Image via The New York Times

In this new AR feature, Stanfield appears to be perched on a steel beam high above New York City. The app serves up four 3D scenes for users to observe in their physical environment, with Stanfield cartwheeling, jumping, and spinning on the beam as he attempts to maintain his balance.

"The reason [it's only available on iOS] is that this volumetric video format is powered by Microsoft technology which extends our previous AR capability," said Graham Roberts, director of immersive platforms for The New York Times, in an email to Next Reality.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

"Unfortunately, at this time, Microsoft's technology requires certain features that are not yet supported by what Google offers for Android. We are working with both to bring this technology to Android as soon as possible."

Images via Tommy Palladino, Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

The Times only began its augmented reality content practice in Feb. 2018, but it has already emerged as a leader among traditional media companies in adopting the technology.

Now, with its volumetric capture capabilities producing highly realistic content and its ability to publish AR experiences frequently, the company boasts a sizable lead over its competitors in this area.

Cover image via Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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