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  • Blippar
  • August 24, 2015


BehindTheFace Uses Blippar and Augmented Reality to Create a New Form of Storytelling

  • Blippar
  • August 24, 2015

Creating a community is at the heart of many new city initiatives, profiling community leaders and fostering a level of pride. Well, #BehindTheFace may just have found an intriguing solution. By connecting with the fascinating people of the London neighborhood of Camden, #BehindTheFace unlocks the stories of a diverse community through the use of Blippar.

We’ve interviewed Jimmy Kyriacou (@JimmyKyriacou), the mastermind behind this project. Jimmy is the founder of the UNBOX network, a collective of like-minded entrepreneurs, creatives, scientists, artists and film makers with a shared vision of the future. The network is based in London, but spans the globe. #BehindTheFace is the latest UNBOX project.

Scanning the faces

What is the #BehindTheFace project?
#BehindTheFace is a series of one minute "TED" style talks from change-makers, pioneers and influencers delivered in unique urban environments. Interactive posters are activated using augmented reality on a smartphone, which gives users a unique viewing experience.

What was the inspiration behind this project?
#BehindTheFace is a marriage of many of my passions. I love interesting people, cities, cutting-edge technology and visual art. I have been experimenting with how creativity can be used in innovative ways to connect and educate people in urban environments for many years now, and this project is a continuation of that journey.

Scanning Rish's faceI want to cut through the noise and shine a spotlight on the faces of amazing people doing amazing things that the average citizen may not be aware of, while also exposing the causes and organisations that they represent.

How did you select the first people for the project?
For the first phase of this project, as the pilot was set within an urban environment in the streets of Camden and Primrose Hill in London, a majority of our first "faces" are based in and around the local area. However, it was important to me that we had a really good mix of people from different backgrounds including technology, education, sustainability, cleantech, local government, yoga & meditation and the arts. Later in the year we plan to span different cities across the globe and we will have shaman (not the band!), music pioneers, robotics and artificial intelligence entrepreneurs, biomimicry, new age artists and many, many other unique individuals that I am keeping secret right now!

Tell us more about the collaboration with Blippar. How did this come about?
After I had the original idea, Blippar was the first tech company that sprang to mind that could actually make #BehindTheFace a reality, and as I had a friend within the business itself, I shared the concept with her and the wider team. The rest is now history! I was also very flattered when the founder of Blippar, Ambarish, also agreed to be one of our first "Faces."

What has been the feedback so far on the augmented reality piece?
When people actually experience Augmented Reality for the first time, it blows their mind! And that is exactly the reason why I wanted to use this technology for #BehindTheFace. By creating an experience that people remember, it has the power to cut through the thousands of marketing messages the average citizen is exposed to on a daily basis and to actually leave a lasting impression. When we put the first installation up around the streets of Camden and Primrose Hill, one of the team overheard an elderly lady asking a young girl if she'd seen those "magical talking faces." That says it all!

A wall of faces

What's next for the project?
In just a very short period of time, the feedback for #BehindTheFace has been better than I could have ever imagined, and I'm excited in bringing some of these new and exciting partnerships to life! One definitely to watch out for is our collaboration with RE.WORK who put on conferences around the world, bringing together breakthrough technology, cutting edge science and entrepreneurship. Look out for a #BehindTheFace installation at their Future Technology Summit event happening in London during September of some of their amazing speakers!

And finally... If anyone is interested in becoming a "face" or wants to recommend someone, please get in touch!