Victoria mural comes to life in augmented reality

A 12-metre-tall basketball mural painted on the side of the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre features an interactive augmented reality game.

By scanning a QR code at the Victoria arena, visitors can point their phone cameras at the mural and watch it take shape in three dimensions.

The project was developed by Victoria-based company Hololabs on behalf of the We the West Basketball Festival, which launched alongside the FIBA Olympic Qualifying basketball tournament in Victoria.

The mural, designed by B.C. artist Samantha Paul, was dubbed the "geometric court" by Hololabs.

It's one of many basketball-themed murals and courts that will be painted in the Capital Regional District through the festival.

Hololabs says after seeing the geometric court design, ideas about how the AR game would function began to fall into place.


"We decided to build an 'AR Toy' with puzzle-like elements to invoke play, exploration, discovery, and of course, basketball," said Hololabs in a release Wednesday.

"We started talking about the pieces of the mural in different ways, asking questions like: 'What if these pieces were 3D blocks?', 'What if these squiggly pieces were water?', 'What if these pieces were tied to the music?'"

The AR game can be played at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, or online here.

The We the West Basketball Festival is happening now at small events across the CRD.

The festival aims to inspire passion for the sport through art, music and events. Its original plans were altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.