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AR app celebrates unsung STEM innovators

|5 January 2017|


A pioneering new augmented reality (AR) experiences celebrates the unsung innovators in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Inspired by the 20th Century Fox film, Hidden Figures, the AR experience – Outthink Hidden – from IBM and The New York Times Company’s T Brand Studio brings these heroes of innovation to life.

Out this week, the movie tells the true story of three female African American mathematicians – heroes at NASA during the 1960s Space Race. Their groundbreaking calculations for spaceship trajectories, which helped put John Glenn in orbit, involved programming a first-of its-kind IBM mainframe.

Outthink Hidden explores the stories of heroes featured in Hidden Figures as part of 10 innovators in STEM. Similar to a virtual museum, people can explore an array of 3D computer graphics renderings, written histories and audio and video narratives.

It is available via the T Brand Studio AR app for free download on iTunes and Google Play. The AR content can be activated on a mobile device at, through select print editions of The New York Times, or at physical plinths at CES in Las Vegas, January 5-8. In addition, the content can be activated at one of 150 geofenced locations across the US.

“IBM has a long history of commitment to STEM, and to fostering diversity, tolerance and inclusion, which is core to our company’s culture and values,” said Ann Rubin, Vice President, Branded Content and Global Creative, IBM. “We were inspired to use this app to share the stories of unsung STEM innovators who have changed the lives of people around the world.”

Outthink Hidden is the first experience within T Brand Studio AR and it is the first project produced by integrated experience design agency Fake Love since it was acquired by The New York Times Company in August 2016. Outthink Hidden was co-created with IBM and its agency partner, Ogilvy & Mather.

“We’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to tap into Fake Love’s wealth of talent and creativity when it comes to experiential storytelling,” said Sebastian Tomich, senior vice president, advertising & innovation, The New York Times. “We knew we couldn’t build The Times’s first AR experience just because we had the means to do it; we needed the right partner and the right story to tell. When we spoke to IBM about their work with ‘Hidden Figures, we recognized that this was an opportunity to bring users into the experience of the film and the remarkable women it showcases.”

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Written By

Iain is an experienced writer, journalist and lecturer, who held editorships with a number of business focussed publications before co-founding and becoming editor of Innovators Magazine. Iain is also the strategic director for OnePoint5Media.


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