On September 1st, 2017, or better known to force-be-with-you-ers as Force Friday II, Star Wars fans will become closer in kinship with Pokemon faithful than ever before because Walt Disney Co, using augmented reality (AR – a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view), will dispatch Star Wars characters into the yonder to lure would-be patrons into more than 20,000 store locations in thirty countries. To participate, fans will have to download the Star Wars smartphone app and begin the magical quest. This AR adventure will be in commemoration of the release of new merchandise for the new Star Wars movie “The Last Jedi” set to hit theaters on December 15th. The participating brick-and-mortar stores will feature displays that fans can scan with smartphones to reveal characters such as Snoke and Chewbacca.
Of course Disney is piggybacking on the augmented reality craze that was at its highest pitch during the summer of 2016 when Pokemon’s “Go” game hit the streets and caused mass hysteria. As part of Disney’s masterful marketing campaign for the new movie and all its trimmings (action figures, puzzles, posters, Lego sets, etc.), the hunt for the Star Wars characters is scheduled to last three days and stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy will be at the epicenter. Some merchandise will also be sold online. In-store events will be themed #BeJediReady and will include activities such as Jedi training games with lightsabers, in-store toy demos with new products, etc. It was announced that Apple stores will sell new app-enabled Star Wars toys created by third parties but will not take part in the augmented reality hunt. However, Apple stores will hold other Star Wars events during the Force Friday II weekend.
The Last Jedi is the second film in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy that began with The Force Awakens in 2015 and it is the eighth movie in the decades-spanning series.
Below are the AR instructions in video format.
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