IBM And The New York Times’ T Brand Studio Unveil New AR Experience

Hidden Figures women scene

IBM and The New York Times launch “Outthink Hidden,” an augmented reality experience that brings unsung heroes of innovation to life.

Inspired by the 20th Century Fox film, “Hidden Figures,” IBM and The New York Times and launches a new augmented reality experience inside the new T Brand Studio AR app called “Outthink Hidden”.

The movie, which will be in theatres on 6 January, recounts the true story of three female African American mathematicians as the 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 (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 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.

Unlike virtual reality apps, where immersive content is experienced via a headset, AR enables people to view a physical space through a different medium (in this case, a mobile device screen). It uses sensors to activate a digital layer that augments the space using visuals such as 3D images, descriptive text, video and audio.

“Outthink Hidden” highlights the accomplishments of the three “hidden figures” from the movie as well as other diverse STEM pioneers such as: Bessie Blount Griffin, who invented a feeding device for injured World War II veterans; Abraham Nemeth, who developed the Nemeth Code for Braille Mathematics; and Charles Drew, who created the first large-scale blood bank in the U.S.

The 150 activation locations across the U.S. include popular tourist spots in 10 cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Atlanta and Houston); notable STEM centers like NASA Langley Research Center, Kennedy Space Center, the Computer History Museum in San Francisco, Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science, and STEM universities such as California Polytechnic State, North Carolina State, Duke, Cornell, Princeton, University of Michigan, Northwestern.

“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.”