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Carnival Cruise Lines is introducing huge interactive computer-animated aquariums in six different U.S. cities this week, including Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C.  The aquariums, which are located in vacant storefront spaces in high traffic pedestrian areas, are designed to engage passersby in a fun, spontaneous and highly entertaining interactive experience courtesy of the world’s most popular cruise line.


The Carnival-branded aquariums were created using computer vision technology, flash animation and mobile gaming software. They feature a variety of highly-stylized fish and plant life.  Consumers can interact with the aquariums both via motion reactivity and mobile phone interactivity.    


As pedestrians walk by, the vibrant undersea universe reacts with plant life swaying, water and bubbles moving and fish darting around in response to the human motion.


Signage invites passersby to dial a number on their cell phones to create their own, personalized fish.  By making various sounds into their phones, consumers can customize their fish and then, using their keypad, swim them around the tank. By steering the fish to food, the custom creatures continue to morph in shape and size and do a variety of other fun and surprising things. 


The aquariums also feature a mechanism that enables people to come back later and, using the same cell phone, retrieve their customized fish.  Once finished with the interaction, consumers receive a text message inviting them to visit carnival.com/funville for additional fun activities and information.


The aquarium concept was developed by the research and development lab of Carnival’s Boston-based advertising agency, Arnold Worldwide, along with media buying and planning partner MPG.  The Arnold R&D lab focuses on designing and developing reactive and interactive experiences that involve sensory design, physical computing, and computer vision to enable the agency’s clients to reach consumers in new ways.


The interactive aquariums will be in place in each city through the end of April.  Exact locations by city are listed below:


Baltimore – 111 S. Calvert St.

Dallas – 1933 Elm St.

Houston – 312 Main St.

Los Angeles – 7901 Melrose Ave.

New York – 100 Park Ave.

Washington D.C. – 908 F St. NW