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Gilt City: An AR Response to the Global Financial Crisis [VIDEO]

Adriane Goetz September 26, 2011

One of our favorite use cases for Augmented Reality is artistic expression and the ability to make digital statements on top of places and things in the real world. 

Gilt City is artist John Goto’s response to the ongoing global financial crisis expressed in Augmented Reality around London’s Bank of England.

In his latest collaboration with developer Matthew Leach, Goto uses montaging techniques to show “marginal characters isolated in the bustling commercial centre” to draw attention to the widening income gap between the rich and poor.

If you launch the Gilt City layer near the statue of Wellington outside the Bank of England, you’ll see a motley cast of characters including a banker, a naked man, a bullfighter, a drug dealer and several other men of varying occupations asking for money.

As the user, you decide who to give money to and who to zap! If you choose to give money to the person, the black-and-white figure regains its color. If you choose to zap the person, the figure explodes, never to pander to you again (well, until you relaunch the layer, anyway).

You may remember Gilt City creators John Goto and Matthew Leach from their previous Layar project The Invisible Artist, which helped score the two spots as “Pioneers” in the Layar Partner Network.

Goto and Leach also kept a detailed account of the research, inspiration and creation process that went into the Gilt City layer on this blog. With their talent and creativity, we can only imagine what those two are cooking up now with Layar Vision!

While you do have to be in London to use the Gilt City layer, you can get a good look at it in this video. Enjoy!

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