One Instagram creator's augmented reality homage to Disney's deep bench of animated characters has earned him fifteen minutes of fame.
Taking a page from the enchanted book attraction at the Sorcerer's Workshop of Disney California Adventure, content creator Arno Partissimo published an Instagram AR camera effect called "Which Disney" that spins a virtual roulette wheel to match users with their true Disney spirit animal or human.
Built with Facebook's Spark AR platform, the Instagram camera effect has found its way to the cameras of celebrities like High School Musical alumnus Vanessa Hudgens (below, left), who seems pretty enthralled with the experience, as well as TV star Rhiannon Fish (The 100, Home and Away).
As a result, Partissimo's creation has gone viral, which has helped him to reach nearly 200,000 followers on Instagram within days of launching the camera effect this week.
While the experience is meant to simulate a kind of personality trait monitor to match people with specific Disney characters, the Instagram camera effect actually relies on random number generation. Nevertheless, the AR mood ring is convincing and delivers a good bit of end of year hilarity for casual AR fans.
For example, a Los Angeles-based freelance artist (below) exhibited her (mock?) frustration at repeatedly landing Quasimodo. Freak coincidence? In my limited testing, I did land Ursula in three out of eight times and characters from The Little Mermaid in five out of eight attempts, so maybe not?
There's one glaring error in the experience, though. While the vast majority of characters come from the Disney animation camp, I did stumble upon Dory from Finding Dory, which comes from Pixar. Therefore, shouldn't the inclusion of intellectual property from an acquired company open up the options to include Star Wars and Marvel characters, too? Where the hell is Baby Yoda?
While this all looks like fun and games, Facebook competitor Snapchat has demonstrated how viral AR experiences can translate into financial gains. Snap reported daily active user growth of 7% in the second quarter, which the company attributed to the popularity of the Gender Swap and Baby Face AR Lenses that debuted over the same time frame.
In this case, though, Facebook benefits from the ingenuity of its developer community, rather than its own internal creative and engineering resources. Ultimately, that's the holy grail of any AR platform looking to achieve consumer success.