February 18, 2019
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Trick Eye, the South Korean museum bringing augmented reality to Mexico

By Ines Amarelo

Mexico City, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Trick Eye, the museum that originated in South Korea and whose concept is based on augmented reality (AR) with larger-than-life visual effects, decided to open in Mexico City its first display outside the Asian continent.

The museum, which opened to the public last Dec. 1, welcomed 35,000 visitors of all ages in its first 50 days, and its success has never stopped growing.

"After a market study was taken, the company chose Mexico because we have large families, we serve people amiably and they saw we Mexicans have a weakness for getting our pictures taken," Marketing Director Monica Cepeda told EFE in an interview.

This is the ninth Trick Eye museum in the world and the largest, with 1,800 sq. meters (19,000 sq. feet) divided in six "zones," each with a different theme but following the same pattern, with various settings in each room that visitors can approach, touch and interact with.

"Jump up, climb on and leap off" are three phrases that Trick Eye's management wishes to communicate to everyone who goes through any of its museums, since it is precisely the possibility of touching and using everything in the settings that marks the difference between this museum and all others.

The colorful drawings on the walls, floors and ceilings, hand-painted by Asian artists and mixed with reliefs, produce in the eye of the beholder sensations of depth, twists and turns in the perception of spaces and the sensation of holes leading to who knows where in the setting's surfaces.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the tour, the museum guides show how to install in a mobile phone the application needed to see the AR in each of the museum's installations, in which appear, for example, animals, hot-air balloons or snowfalls.

To be observed among many phenomena in the first area, the Aqua Zone, is a dragon that moves on the screen of the mobile phone upon activating the app, while under it is an infinitely precipitous waterfall.

The next room, the Masterpiece Zone, is full of famed pictures like "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh and "The Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci, placed so that visitors can climb into them and have pictures of themselves taken inside the paintings.

"We've seen how the Masterpiece Zone stimulates interest in art. Children and young people begin to ask about the artists and their works," Cepeda said.

In the Winter Zone, the app shows snowflakes falling in every image and one can even hug a snow-white polar bear that appears on the edge of a glacier.

The Halloween Zone, with clear references to Mexican imagery related to the Day of the Dead, presents numerous skulls and dancing skeletons beside which visitors can also dance.

The penultimate of the sections and one of the most loved by visitors is the Jungle Zone, featuring two huge dinosaurs that try to eat the visitor using the app, while the latter tries to reach solid ground in a ravine in the middle of the jungle.

Then, near the exit, is the Best Trick Eye Zone, where the most acclaimed optical illusions from the company's other museums in Asia are presented.

"The Masterpiece Zone has been a big favorite but every zone has its stellar attraction. The volcano and dinosaurs of the Jungle Zone, the Van Gogh paintings that couples like so much, wings of the archangel with which moms and grandmas like to take their kids' pictures..." the marketing director said.

According to Cepeda, it's not essential to use the mobile app, and families and friends often forget it and just enjoy the installations.

"What people do most is use their creativity and for the moment they forget about augmented reality and how they'll come out in the photo...The only limit is their imagination," she said.

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