Finally, a more moving use for augmented reality. JWT China teamed up with missing children listings site Baby Back Home to help turn China’s 1.4 billion citizens into search volunteers. The problem: in China, 20,000 children go missing each year, kidnapped and sold into child prostitution, slave labor or turned out on the street as beggars. In a country the size of China, finding them is near impossible. To alleviate the issue, the agency put augmented reality statues in major cities in the country – when viewed via an app, the story of a missing child, and his or her parents’ pleas to help them could be heard. Even better, the app let people take photos of kids they might think were kidnapped. The app then used face recognition tech to compare it to the listings on the Baby Back Home site to identify a match.
According to the agency, two families were united in a week after launch. The app has been downloaded 20,000 times.