RYOT Studio uses AR technology to bring Migaloo to life for NAIDOC Week

Full article and image courtesy of adnews.com.au

The ancient and sacred stories of Migaloo are brought to life in a new augmented reality (AR) experience from Verizon Media’s branded content division RYOT Studio and HuffPost Australia.

The Sacred Story You Didn’t Know About Migaloo, released as an Acknowledgment of Country for NAIDOC Week, explores artist and Quandamooka woman Delvene Cockatoo-Collins' personal story behind iconic Migaloo, and acts as an entry point to illustrate how important connection to land and sea is to Australia's First Nations people.

The AR activation, created by RYOT Studio, lets users explore a map of the albino whale’s migration patterns, view a scaled size comparison and interact with a stunning art display, within an editorial feature.

RYOT used webAR technology to make the project available on mobile and desktop devices, one of the first to do so in Australia.

“We really enjoyed showcasing just how powerful our next generation, immersive formats can be for storytelling," RYOT Studio head of strategic solutions Julia Edwards says.

"With this new technology we’ve enabled viewers to interact with this incredible story of Migaloo to celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their ongoing cultures in an unprecedented way.”

RYOT Studio and HuffPost worked on the immersive project in collaboration with artist Cockatoo-Collins, who lives and works on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and expresses her connection to land and sea through her art.

She previously designed the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 medals and the large inflatable Migaloo which featured in the Opening Ceremony.

“Celebrating connection to country is so important to me, there’s so much to learn and observe from the changing of seasons and ways we can care for the land," says Delvene Cockatoo-Collins.

“This experience has been really interesting in particular, it’s been exciting to watch my artwork of Migaloo come to life using such progressive technology. I’m grateful to be part of this flagship activation and look forward to sharing with my family another new format celebrating our culture.”

The Acknowledgement of Country AR experience will be hosted on HuffPost Australia and distributed across Verizon Media’s social channels and newsletters.

The activation is one of a series of activities being carried out by Verizon Media to mark NAIDOC Week, as part of its ongoing commitment to championing diversity and inclusion across its businesses and mastheads.

The Yahoo logo has been changed to one designed by Noongar and Saibai Islander artist Tyrown Waigana, winner of this year’s NAIDOC poster competition.

“Stories like this are important for HuffPost to share with Australians because they help us all better understand First Nations peoples' significant connection to land and sea," says Carly Wiliams, Quandamooka woman and HuffPost Australia senior editor.

"As an editor with Indigenous heritage, I understand it is a privilege to carry on the ancient role of a storyteller in modern times. I feel lucky to be able to feature Delvene’s talent in bringing the sacred history of Migaloo to life with RYOT Studio's stunning AR storytelling.”