A virtual safari experience is coming to Times Square with the launch of One Times Square’s Concrete Jungle AR Times Square, a large-scale, app-based augmented reality experience that will transform the public plazas into a digital playground.
Starting August 1, 2022, animals will roam and play in their natural habitats against the backdrop of digital signage and buildings that make up Times Square. Produced by Jamestown, the owner and developer of One Times Square, Concrete Jungle will bring five distinct viewing zones, virtual games, and photo opportunities to Times Square, providing visitors with a new and unique way to sight-see and engage with the live environment in Times Square.
Jamestown is exploring the deployment of a range of augmented and virtual reality immersive technologies across its portfolio, with Concrete Jungle at One Times Square serving as the first project. “Augmented reality is the future of entertainment, retail, advertising, and the built environment more broadly,” Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown. “Concrete Jungle will scale and normalize augmented reality experiences as a tool to enhance engagement with the public. These technologies can be leveraged beyond entertainment to improve wayfinding, public safety, and health and wellness. Jamestown is at the forefront of creating that bridge by investing in technology to create experiences that will transition the physical to digital life in the future.”
“We continue to welcome over 400,000 New Yorkers and tourists every day to Times Square, which reaches pre-pandemic levels, and are thrilled to welcome the Concrete Jungle as the newest virtual experience that combines the latest in technology and innovation to the Crossroads of the World,” said Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance. “One Times Square is a historic property as the site of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, and we look forward to welcoming the virtual safari experience that will be one of many new and exciting opportunities to experience the best of Times Square.”
Through the Concrete Jungle app, users will be able to access five viewing zones, each with a distinct group of animals in their own unique environments, virtual games with quest badges, a 3D puzzle, and the ability to capture in-app photos with a virtual animal companion. The five viewing zones: Insects, Reptiles, Birds, Jungle, and Savanna will feature a wide range of animals, including spiders, crocodiles, parrots, tree frogs, elephants, lions, and giraffes.
The Concrete Jungle experience embellishes the live environment, digital signs, and skyscrapers with cinematic wildlife that is active all hours of the day. By leveraging the use of geospatial localization, the live virtual layer is responsive to the user’s movements and the time of day within the five viewing zones across the public plazas of Times Square from 43rd to 47th Streets along Broadway and 7th Avenue. At each viewing zone, two Concrete Jungle Park Rangers will be stationed daily during peak hours to help visitors embark on this new adventure.
While One Times Square will be under construction for the next two years, the focus of its experiences will continue to remain on the exterior of the building and in the metaverse, and will soon include enhancing the entire bowtie area of Times Square with cinematic storytelling through AR. The redevelopment will modernize the 118-year-old historic building into a 21st century visitor center for New York City. Expected to open in the fall of 2024, the project includes a 12-floor, branded AR-VR experience offering brands the added ability to connect with their customers in Times Square through immersive, technology-enabled activations. In addition to the AR/VR experiences, the redevelopment includes a new viewing deck offering a closer look at the New Year’s Eve Ball and an elevated view of Times Square, as well as an interactive museum that tells the story of the building, New Year’s Eve, and its place in the history of Times Square.
The Concrete Jungle AR TimesSquare app is available for download in app stores beginning on August 1, 2022, and continuing through the month of August. For more information, visit ConcreteJungleAR.com and follow along at @onetimessquarenyc.