This is just that sort of a year. Everything is virtual. Work. Meeting with colleagues. Events. Online shopping. Catching up with friends. Movie releases on streaming platforms. Why should festivals be left out? Even more so with Diwali just around the corner. The Celebr8.world is a Made in India app that lets you celebrate festivals in augmented reality (AR), from the safety and comfort of your homes. And the warm embrace of your smartphone screens. Rather interesting, as a concept and as an implementation. The Celebr8.world app, as the name suggests, is now primed to be part of your Diwali celebrations as well. This works on Android phones as well as the Apple iPhone. The app is free to download and use, but there is in-app currency that you will need to unlock and access different types of lighting and fireworks after the sign up bundle runs out.
As you get started with the app, you must allow the app permission to access the phone’s camera. Else the AR functionality will not work. We noticed that on the Android app at least, there is only the option to sign in using the Google account. Once set up, which take a couple of clicks, you are able to access the variety of AR Fireworks. There is phooljhadi, there is chakri, there is anar, there are lanterns and there are rockets, for instance.
For augmented reality, or AR, to work, you must point the phone’s camera at a flat surface, either indoors or outdoors. These are virtual firecrackers and you can actually try this indoors itself. Once a flat area is mapped, you can tap on any region within that map to place the cracker of your choice and watch the fireworks unfold. Each cracker has a currency attached to it, which will be deducted from the 40,000 in-app currency points that you get when you log in for the first time. For more coins, you have the option of viewing advertisements within the Celebr8.world app—this gets you 300 free coins per ad you view. Else, you pay for bundles. Rs 11 gets you 1100 coins, Rs 21 gets you 2100 coins, Rs 51 gets you 5100 coins and Rs 501 gets you a whopping 50100 coins. What pack you buy will totally depend on how excitable you are, or your kids are!
From what we noticed, the crackers and lanterns tend to get placed where you want them, for the most part. But there are times, and we noticed this for lanterns that they tend to float around a bit and not get placed on the flat surface you choose. There was also an observation with the chakris that they tend to fire on one side of the screen even as you may be choosing a spot for them on the AR map. Nevertheless, it is all great fun with the Celebr8.world app. And well, a virtual Diwali is exactly what we may need this year. To keep ourselves and our families safe from the Coronavirus pandemic. The noise. And the pollution. The Celebr8.world app also lets you record the virtual celebrations to share with friends. Everyone can be part of the fun. That is just the way of life this year.