There’s a message waiting for you
on a star in the night sky

Scroll to see more
Case Study

Whispering Stars: Augmented Reality messaging app

Whispering Stars is a BBC Taster project which enables people to message each other via the stars. Users are able to explore the night sky with an accurate live 3D star map, find an interesting star and write a message on it to share via social media.

Launch project

The Challenge

We needed to build the world's first in-browser star field (and it needed to perform on old and low powered devices)

BBC_Whispering_01

Familiar gestures

We needed to use existing paradigms and familiar gestures to help ease people into a tool they never would have seen before. This would then encouraged people to use the product creatively, rather than just trying to 'use it'. We also needed to add facts about the night sky to make their messages more inspiring.

BBC_Whispering_02

Real world scenarios

Other than the technical challenges, we also had to consider real world scenarios such as aching arms. We recognised that people won't want to hold their arms in the air for a long time. This needed to be quick, and fun!

BBC_Whispering_03

Thinking about the user

We also needed to test how long people would use the app before they tire. If a users default action remains to always start with the sky, they still needed an alternative that didn't require that level of mobility when required.

The Solution

We created a highly performant, portable 3D JS library that allowed on-the-fly data updates of stars and messaging

BBC_Whispering_04

Making the stars cool again! (Weren't they always?)

By using a personal, social media message as a users first step, we subtly introduced users to the stars through a familiar voice - that of a friend or a loved one. And once they're 'in', they can explore other stars to their heart's content, and leave a message for their friends and loved ones - passing on the experience.

BBC_Whispering_05

Social networking

By using the public's social networks to reach new audiences, we hope to make facts about the night sky more accessible, and fun, to a wider audience.

BBC_Whispering_06

Discover amazing facts

Both sender and recipient can discover amazing facts about the stars and visible planets that inspire them to write a message and share with their community.

The Result

We successfully created another world first piece of tech that people loved, including multiple awards

BBC_Whispering_07

Immersive design

We created an immersive design and UX which allows users to explore the night sky intuitively and easily, guiding them to find their message and discovering timely and relevant information about the constellations and stars as they go.

BBC_Whispering_08

Featured on Stargazing Live

The project has featured multiple times on BBC Stargazing Live and BBC The Sky at Night. The TV teams loved the project, and so did their audiences.

BBC_Whispering_09

Pioneering project and world first technology

Whispering Stars is a pioneering BBC Science project which launched on the BBC Taster platform for users to use, rate and share. It broke new ground and is powered by technology that simply hadn't been done before. We created a project that had only been attempted within an app previously. This technical achievement led to press attention, project enquiries and award nominations.

BBC_whispering_stars_quote_image
Aerian are a fantastic team! Not only did they understand the brief immediately, and create a clean and elegant interface, but they somehow managed to build a live 3D star map that works in a web browser. Even better, users can write messages in it. That’s quite a thing!
simon_makie
Simon Mackie Digital Producer | BBC Science

Performance & Statistics

Tried it

Rated it

Recommended it

Like what you see?

Launch project

Got a project in mind?

Contact us
show previous carousel item show next carousel item