Augmented Reality Brings Dissection to the Dinner Table


To mark the inaugural Lush Prize Awards with a memorable experience, design practice Something & Son asked INITION to create a ‘digital dissection app’ to entertain the event’s 120 diners on November 15th.

Housed in The Yard, Shoreditch, was a ‘virtual reality future laboratory’ where guests could explore the future possibilities of cosmetic testing without using animals. Having partnered with Inition previously on the ‘People Wood’ project, Something & Son approached Inition to create something exciting, witty, shareable and scientific. Using anatomically accurate data, the Inition design team created a foot, set of lungs and a beating heart that appeared to hover over the custom made AR marker/table mats as the guests moved iPads over them. Not only could the more curious ‘implode’ and ‘explode’ the organs, they could even dissect individual parts using their fingers and learn more thanks to augmented organs. Despite the realism, appetites remained high for the preceeding meal.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell introduced Inition Studio Director Sam Denney and Paul Smyth from Something & Son, who explained that the purpose of the augmented reality application was to illustrate how virtual imagery and simulation could play an increasing role in the future of cosmetic testing.

“You’re taking what’s out there, what’s shaping people’s minds, and giving it a tangible, visceral feel. You can’t do it on paper, it doesn’t work. This is the real world and the virtual world converging. It’s a truly holistic view of life,” said Denney.

Also at the event, which awarded over £250,000 worth of prizes to scientists, researchers and policy makers, was a virtual see-through patient, originally developed with medical communications company Photosound. By moving an iPad over a flat 2D outline of a human body, a blue figure was augmented into reality. The closer the user moved their tablet towards the phantom body, the more layers faded away, revealing in inner biological workings in a way never experienced before.

It was a highly successful event and Tweets such as “Amazing augmented reality from @inition at last nights Lush Prize” said @margotbowman and @JosefValentino Tweeted: “Inspired by this awesome augmented reality work by #inition.” suggested the goal of creating something inspiring to support the cause was achieved.