Ars Wildcard+ 2016

Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (NTT), one of Japan’s leaders in Telecommunication and Ars Electronica Futurelab join forces to research on user experience enhancement through the fusion of ICT and art.


Shooting the festival-highlights, a tour guide and the sending greeting cards-The Wildcard+ App can make it happen. Credit: Markus Scholl

As the Ars Electronica Futurelab has in its history gained an international recognition for being specialized in combining artistic concepts with scientific progress to adapt to the needs of tomorrow, the fusion with NTT’s state of the art technology has been hand in glove.


A look at the screen depicts an old smartphone iteration of Ars Wildcard.
The first version of Ars Wildcard was already developed in 2011, but without angle-free object-search-technology.  Credit: Hideaki Ogawa, Emiko Ogawa, Manuela Naveau


Aiming at 2020 as the year of when the final results should come into fruition, the task laid out by both parties was to generate extraordinary moving experiences for audiences in public spaces. They should be touching and at the same time generate “Omotenashi”, which is the Japanese style of hospitality.



The pilot projects of this venture was showcased at the Ars Electronica Festival 2016. Besides Deformation Lamp, a magical lighting system that could bring completely novel visual experiences, the collaboration yielded Wild Card+, an extension of the App developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab, which enables visitors to enjoy exhibitions in public spaces.


Ars Wild Card+ Seite im Internet zeigt die aufgenommenen Motive vom Radical Atoms festival 2016.
The Wildcard+ Website provides a downloadplatform from which one also can send personal greetings via E-Mail. Credit: Markus Scholl


Visitors can use it to get information about works in the exhibition, as well as photographing the works, even including themselves, and creating their original postcards. Powered by angle-free object-search technology developed by NTT, the Ars Electronica Futurelan renewed the smartphone app to become Ars Wild Card+, a device especially designed for festival visitors. The angle-free object-search technology can accurately specify a three-dimensional object from a photographed image of it from any angle. Users can get information on any work at the festival instantly, not by scanning a conventional barcode but by holding their smartphone over the object. Ars Wild Card+ can provide visitors with a more intuitive experience to connect with works and encourage new discoveries.



Ars Electronica Futurelab: Nicolas Naveau, Hideaki Ogawa, Marianne Ternek

ntt: Hiroshi Chigara, Kyoko Hashiguchi, Shingo Kinoshita, Tomohiro Nishitani, Ryo Yamashita,  Junji Watanabe