Comcast NBCUniversal premieres first interactive experience at SXSW

Jordyn Zitman

Editor’s note: Some sources did not give their full names to protect their anonymity.

A series of haphazardly thrown together cubes make up Container Bar on Rainey St., but stepping inside opens up a new world of magic, fashion and business.

NBCUniversal Comcast’s first interactive experience premiered at this year’s South by Southwest. The bar, partitioned into themed sections, showcased the best the network has to offer. Celebrity-hosted panels touched on topics such as Esports and virtual reality gaming. The event celebrated the launch of Blueprint, NBCUniversal’s digital lifestyle learning platform and streaming service.

The first experience, a “Project Runway” photo shoot, transforms the user into a model within seconds. With a touch of glamour in the form of a fur coat or shimmery scarf, the user walks the runway with the help of a coach and photographer.

Tal, director of digital production for the VR installation, guides viewers through the “Project Runway” experience the company built for the event.

“We do all kinds of events, parties, screenings, premieres, you name it,” Tal said. “We do really fun, cool interactive video experiences which people can then share right away on their email, share it with the world.”

Users learn how to train their dragon in a VR experience offered at the event. Two plush egg-shaped capsules provide virtual transportation as the user navigates through dragon kingdom lost world.

The four-and-a-half minute experience requires the user to earn their dragon’s trust, so at the end they are able to pet them using state of the art 4D technology.

Next, a parade of puppies up for adoption take up real estate at the interactive house.

Laura runs stats and data at the Los Angeles location of Best Friends Animal Society, a shelter which just opened its first location in Houston.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get exposure for (the dogs) and our new location,” Laura said. “We’re still only foster there, they’re working on getting a facility open. We’re trying to get them noticed, as well as helping Found Animals promote the Clear the Shelters campaign that they’re doing with NBC.”

The puppies have an unobstructed view of another focal point, the interactive Blueprint mural which prompts guests to pick up a can of paint and add their own flair to the drawn out shapes.

The Comcast NBCUniversal House is open until Mar. 11 for badgeholders and announced the remaining panels and experiences on the SXSW schedule.