Monday, October 22, 2012

The Atlanta Opera Opens a Window to the Future

By Natalie Creamer

As technology use continues to grow, performing arts organizations are adopting new strategies to appeal to audiences who communicate through smartphones and tablets. Recently, The Atlanta Opera expanded its digital presence in two very innovative ways.

The Theatre Plus Network

By partnering with Dave Stevens, creator of the Theatre Plus Network (TPN), an Atlanta-based start-up that specializes in live publishing through “augmented reality,” a smartphone application has been created that makes images in printed materials “come to life.”

What is “augmented reality?”

The term “augmented reality” means that a picture or object is augmented or enhanced by layers of computer-generated sound, video, graphics or GPS data. In a nutshell, it means that by activating an image, it gives the viewer a different way of looking at things. It converts an image from “still” to “live.”

The Atlanta Opera is one of the first organizations to create prototypes for this new app. Atlanta arts enthusiasts can expect to unlock a variety of content like videos, games, music, information and website links.

How does it work?

Smartphones act as “electronic magnifying glasses” that reveal something hidden through digital image recognition. Cameras recognize shapes and patterns of images. Each combination triggers different information. By downloading the TPN app, and focusing the smartphone lens on a season image displayed in one of the Atlanta Opera’s promotional print materials, a picture will be “awakened” through video and sound, and provide a link that will connect patrons to the Atlanta Opera’s mobile site.

The TPN app will be available to audiences who use Encore Atlanta show programs (The Atlanta Opera, the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Fox Theatre), as well as direct-mail postcards and posters.

The TPN app is available free in the Apple Store and Google Play Market.

Download TPN for iPhone >>
Download TPN for Android >>


What is the purpose of using TPN?

The objective of the TPN app is for arts organizations to reach new audiences, and enrich experiences for existing and loyal patrons, by creating engaging and entertaining content.

While TPN has only been around for eight months, and still remains in the prototype stage, the hope is to eventually create a single application that would serve the entire performing arts community with one download.

What is the other innovative way The Atlanta Opera is using technology?

The Atlanta Opera has created its own mobile website!

Those visiting the Atlanta Opera’s website on their smartphones will be automatically redirected to the mobile site. Audiences can view production dates, purchase tickets, and access the Blog, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

It just makes everything so much easier!

Usage of any images on this blog is restricted to The Atlanta Opera and approved news websites. Any other usage, particularly for professional purposes, must have written permission. For additional information, please contact The Atlanta Opera's Marketing Department at 404.881.8801.