The New York Times debuted today its first volumetric augmented reality experience, the next step in its exploration of immersive journalism and innovative, visual storytelling. Volumetric video is an emerging technology that displays moving 3-D images of real people — like holograms —in the real world.
As part of its New York Fashion Week coverage, The Times used more than 100 cameras to capture the model and activist Ashley Graham as she demonstrates her runway walking and posing techniques. Through augmented reality, viewers can place a moving 3-D hologram of Ms. Graham directly in the room with them, as if she were there.
“The Times chose to feature Ashley Graham because of her approach to body positivity; she is outspoken about not altering images of her body or face shape, a practice that is commonplace in the fashion industry,” said Joanna Nikas, staff editor, Styles, The New York Times. “It’s also one of the main reasons she decided to participate in The Times’s first volumetric AR experience, an opportunity that captures her from all angles and with no altering.”
The experience also features an interview Q&A with Ms. Graham where she addresses the state of body diversity in fashion in 2018 and issues that still plague the industry, including sexual harassment and body image.
“If you are constantly showing an altered woman in media, what is that little girl going to go and do when she looks in the mirror and see smoothed out skin or almond eyes or a pinched nose and plumped up lips,” asked Ms. Graham. “Why would we want young girls and boys to go home and not love themselves because we are lying to them in magazines and lying to them on social media.”