Verizon and Snap Inc. launch 5G Landmarker Lens in L.A.

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Jeannine Brew Braggs

5G Ultra Wideband technology transforms augmented reality to highlight wildlife conservation

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What you need to know:

  • Verizon and Snap Inc. are launching the second 5G AR Landmarker experience from their 5G innovation partnership.

  • Augmented reality transforms a mural on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach into an immersive experience sharing the story behind the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign.

LOS ANGELES - A 5G-enabled augmented reality Landmarker Lens marks the second AR Landmarker experience from Verizon and Snap Inc.’s 5G innovation partnership. The increased capacity of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband along with Snapchat’s industry-leading augmented reality technology creates a Lens that transforms a mural of a cougar on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California into an immersive experience that amplifies the story behind the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign.

Urban wildlife through the Landmarker Lens

The mural, painted by artist Louis Masai, features a cougar famously known in Los Angeles as P-22 who crossed two of L.A.’s eight-lane freeways to find a new home and sparked a campaign to set a worldwide model for urban wildlife conservation. By opening Snapchat and using the Verizon 5G Lens on the physical mural, Snapchatters can watch in augmented reality as P-22 breaks free from the concrete wall and crosses a land bridge to reunite with his mate. As the experience culminates, Snapchatters can tap a prompt in the Lens to learn more about the campaign and join efforts to build the world’s largest wildlife crossing at the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars website, savelacougars.org.

“The Abbot Kinney Landmarker Lens is yet another illustration of the vast array of consumer experiences offered by the combination of augmented reality and 5G built right,” said Erin McPherson, Head of Content Partnerships at Verizon. “The Lens allows us to use tech for good by showcasing the work of a talented independent artist while bringing awareness to the environmental cause of wildlife conservation.”

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is available in parts of 70-plus U.S. cities today, with more being added regularly.

“We’re so excited that, through our partnership with Verizon, we’re able to empower Louis Masai with a new medium to tell the story of P-22,” said Jen McGinnis, Head of Distribution Partnerships at Snap. “We hope that by raising awareness for the #SaveLACougars cause through AR, we can bring people closer to the issue and help the National Wildlife Federation reach its goals.”

"When I paint public walls, I never know to what extent the message of urgency will be translated. This mural was painted in response to the story of LA mountain lions, specifically the important story of P-22, so that the future of wildlife can coexist with humans” said artist Louis Masai. “As an artist, I recognize the importance of working with brands that are willing to tell these stories from a different perspective. This experience reminds us how art can evoke impacting change."

National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars Campaign

Nearly a decade ago, Los Angeles’ famous cougar, P-22’s incredible journey to find a new home led him to make two perilous freeway crossings – sparking a movement to build a wildlife crossing that will span ten lanes over one of the busiest freeways in the world. Construction on the crossing is planned to begin this fall and when completed, it will serve as a worldwide model for urban wildlife conservation.The campaign has raised over $19.2 million dollars to date.

Verizon and Snap have together donated $150,000 to the National Wildlife Federation #SaveLACougars campaign in support of the quest to build the 101 freeway wildlife crossing.

“This incredible experience shows what is possible by combining technology and art to fuel change,” said Beth Pratt, an executive director for the National Wildlife Federation and leader of the #SaveLACougars campaign. “By bringing Louis Masai’s mural to life and giving P-22 the happy ending he deserves, we are reaching beyond science and into the realm of the imagination. This partnership with Verizon deepens the impact of art, and will inspire a whole new audience of people to act and help build a wildlife crossing to save this mountain lion population.”

Worldview Lens

The 5G Landmarker Lens is accessible onsite at the Abbot Kinney mural for Snapchatters with 5G devices. However, Verizon and Snap are also launching 4G and 5G Worldview Lenses of the experience, versions of the Lens that can be accessed from anywhere in the US, using the Snapcode below, and available to all US Snapchatters who want to learn more about the cause.

This is the second 5G AR Landmarker experience from Verizon and Snap Inc.’s 5G innovation partnership. It follows the first-ever 5G-enabled AR Lens, which features a musical performance by Grammy® nominated psychedelic soul band Black Pumas at the New York Public Library. Lead singer Eric Burton’s 3D avatar dances to the entire hit song “Colors” in front of an explosion of flora and fauna from the sidewalks of 5th Avenue. The 5G-enabled Lens is still accessible onsite at the New York Public Library.

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