Portal from Facebook Partners with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” for AR Experience
Fans of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be very excited to discover that the play has partnered with Portal from Facebook, bringing fans closer to the production through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Curtain Call!
Thanks to the wonders of Muggle technology, video calling has become somewhat of a norm this last year, and this is exactly what the Cursed Child Curtain Call will involve.
Portal is a video chatting device that comes equipped with [a]ugmented [r]eality (AR) features as a fun way for friends and family to connect.
The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Curtain Call experience allows users and up to three of their friends to transform into characters from the hit stage play and brings the production’s magic to life during Portal-to-Portal video calls using AR technology.
This fully digital experience will be the first of its kind (won’t Mr. Weasley be impressed!?). Users can choose one of three wizarding world locations, which are based on the sets from the stage play: the Hogwarts Great Hall, the Ministry of Magic, and the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It also features some of the play’s iconic next-generation characters: Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Delphi Diggory.
Users have the choice of 12 costumes that are taken from ones designed for the play itself and will be able to cast magical effects on each other. Those who have watched the play will notice plenty of nods to Easter eggs, and elements from within the story will be visited throughout the experience.
The experience will be available to people in the United Kingdom and the United States, initiated by tapping “Curtain Call” in the effects tray on Portal. If you don’t have Portal, you can still interact on Instagram and Facebook with the AR masks found on each app’s camera and share videos and photos on Stories.
The partnership between the Cursed Child play and Portal is a unique first in several ways.
This is the first time that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show assets have been integrated into a large-scale partnership showcasing the play’s unique style of magic. This is also one of the first times Portal has connected user’s [sic] AR experiences across screens in a collaborative, multi-participant environment, where everyone can experience the AR effects simultaneously.
The Cursed Child Curtain Call is giving fans a unique and exciting way to connect with others and “experience the magic of the play during a time when most productions remain dark due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Currently, the only Cursed Child show playing is in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre. Performances at London’s Palace Theatre, New York’s Lyric Theatre, the Mehr! Theater in Hamburg, and the Curran in San Francisco aren’t set to resume until October, November, December, and January, respectively.
The pandemic has put us through many dark and difficult times, from the personal impact on our daily lives to the detrimental effect on the theater industry. But we must remember Albus Dumbledore’s famous words from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
While we look forward to the worldwide reopening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we must praise the development of such a wonderful and unique piece of technology that is allowing us to experience the magic from our own homes, giving us hope for the future of the theater industry, the Wizarding World, and our Muggle world.