Facebook is launching a collection of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom-themed augmented reality dinosaurs, but you’ll need to buy a Blu-ray or DVD copy of Fallen Kingdom or visit a store that’s selling them to get the stickers. It’s one of Facebook’s first attempts to link AR to a physical retail product, instead of simply releasing a media tie-in experience.
The augmented reality experience is simple: you open the Facebook or Messenger mobile app, scan a QR code-style pattern, and tap the screen to place a dinosaur in your real-life surroundings. You can see a hostile Indoraptor by scanning codes in various chains of retail and grocery stores. (There are apparently 17,000 total locations in the US.) And if you buy a copy of Fallen Kingdom, you get a card with the code included in the package. This will let you see the friendly velociraptor Blue.
This isn’t Facebook’s biggest branded AR experience — that might be the Thanos mask created for Avengers: Infinity War — and Facebook has previously let people scan posters of A Wrinkle In Time and Ready Player One to see AR tie-ins. But this is a much clearer attempt of using AR to entice people to buy something.
Granted, it’s a mild enticement. The dinosaurs can’t do more than bite and jump around, and Fallen Kingdom is hardly the most beloved Jurassic movie. But it’s getting close to the kind of AR advertising foreseen in things like Magic Leap’s patent illustrations. And it’s not hard to imagine a kid getting pretty excited about bringing a virtual dinosaur home.