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Concept to Reality: Bringing Aster to Life

Entered in Extended Reality


Unveiling the Future of Hospitality: A Dive into the Aster Augmented Reality Experience

Aster, the rooftop bar perched 32 floors above Sydney Harbour, our objective was to deliver an unforgettable experience during Vivid Sydney that broke technology and experiential boundaries with a consortium of agencies working on a world-first experience. 

Aster Bar has panoramic views of the Vivid lights; they offer a unique dining experience featuring a spectacular astronomical three-course menu paired with cocktails. Overseen by InterContinental Sydney’s Executive Chef Matt Hart, each course drew inspiration from a planet in our solar system, promising a multi-sensory journey through space and taste. 

From the 'revealing' tuna course paired with a gin-based cocktail for Saturn to a savoury ‘doughnut’ paired with a tequila-infused cocktail for Mars, and a dramatic, dark dessert for Pluto accompanied by a matching cocktail topped with an edible cloud, Aster aimed to tantalise all senses. We then layered in and enhanced the evening's immersion by inviting guests to interact with their surroundings, food, external sky and menu through the latest AR technology, bringing the galaxy to life around them. 

Through this unique fusion of culinary creativity, stunning views, and cutting-edge technology, Aster sought to create an unparalleled dining experience that left a lasting impression on every guest, offering an elevated journey into the cosmos during Vivid Sydney.




The Genesis of Aster: A Visionary Concept

The Aster Bar: Augmented Reality Experience at Intercontinental Sydney is a pioneering venture in hospitality, coupling meticulous planning with flawless execution. Positioned as the ‘first’ Hotel participant of Vivid Sydney, it seamlessly integrates multiple AR experiences with dining, adding innovation to an already captivating event. 

From Concept to Reality: Bringing Aster to Life

Collaborative efforts involving Intercontinental Hotel Sydney, Vivid Sydney, Proof & Company, Miroma Project Factory and shaped the immersive narratives and technical execution, aligning perfectly with Vivid's spirit. Technical implementation, including the Aster AR app, ensured seamless user experiences while precise integration of AR elements into the physical space enhanced engagement. Immersive storytelling, combined with sensory elements, captivated guests, making them active participants in the digital odyssey. Pairing each dining and drinks course with the AR narrative, transforming dining moments into extraordinary adventures. Aster sets a new standard for guest engagement in hospitality, heralding the potential of AR to redefine luxury dining experiences.

Navigating the Aster Universe: A Digital Odyssey

Despite its revolutionary nature, Aster's success is rooted in careful planning and execution. From the conceptualisation phase to the realisation of the experience, every aspect was meticulously crafted to ensure a seamless and immersive journey for guests. The collaboration with Vivid Sydney added an extra layer of allure, as Aster became a pioneer in integrating the festival's visual spectacle into its augmented reality experience. 

This strategic partnership not only enhanced the guest experience but also aligned Aster with one of Sydney's most iconic events, elevating its status as a must-visit destination during Vivid.

The technical implementation of Aster was a feat in itself, requiring precise calibration and coordination to seamlessly blend the augmented reality elements of Meta Spark Studio, pushing its limitations into the physical space of the bar and keeping a key hand on patron safety around space control. Using Adobe Substance Painter for real-life feeling textures mixed with Cinema 4D for modelling. The development of the Aster AR app served as the gateway to the digital playground, allowing guests to unlock interactive experiences with ease. Compatibility across various devices and optimization of the user interface was paramount to ensuring a smooth and intuitive user experience, further enhancing guest engagement.

Crafting Immersive Narratives: The Power of Storytelling

At the heart of Aster lies the art of immersive storytelling, carefully curated to transport guests to new dimensions. Aster crafted captivating narratives that not only entertained but also educated and inspired. The strategic use of visuals, audio, and interactive elements created a multi-sensory experience that left a lasting impression on guests, blurring the lines between reality and augmented reality.

One of the most innovative aspects of Aster was its integration of dining and drinks with the augmented reality experience. Each course served not only delivered a culinary delight but also added depth and richness to the AR narrative, calling on unique Australian ingredients, space information and astralogical facts. Guests were not just passive consumers but active participants in their own digital odyssey, enhancing their overall dining experience and fostering a deeper connection with the wider universe (literal planets and stars around us).




A Glimpse into the Future: Redefining Luxury 

It’s success demonstrates the transformative power of augmented reality in redefining luxury accommodations and setting new standards for guest experiences. Looking ahead, Aster serves as a blueprint for the future of guest engagement in hospitality. With over 3,000 downloads and an elongated 5 minutes view time, it allowed participants to feel space and see ingredients around them. As technology continues to evolve, initiatives like Aster will continue to push the boundaries of traditional hospitality, offering guests unparalleled levels of immersion and engagement. A highly engaged and loved personalised experience for all those who attended, with acclaim from each partner, influencers and guests alike.



Video for Concept to Reality: Bringing Aster to Life

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Miroma Project Factory, Sydney Intercontinental Hotel