LEGO® Hidden Side™
The Ghost Detector adds a touch of reality to virtual gameplay.

In 2019, Lego introduced a true game changer in the world of toys, that utilizes captivating storytelling to turn virtual gameplay into a true Lego experience. Hidden Side is a series of Lego sets haunted by scary ghosts that come to life on your smartphone through Augmented Reality, creating a parallel world where the quests and adventures of fearless heroes against spooky monsters unfold. Hidden Side has what it takes to elevate the imagination of Lego fans to new heights. And that’s what we wanted to prove.

Our idea: The Ghost Detector.
The Ghost Detector is an interactive machine that analyzes and extracts scary ghosts from everyday Lego bricks, turning little Lego fans into real ghost hunters. Without the need for installing apps or reading lengthy manuals, we turn a common Lego brick into a touchable key towards a thrilling, virtual fantasy world.
We call this principle: Augmented Imagination

  • Creative Direction
  • Art Direction
  • Konzeption
  • Technische Beratung
  • Informationsarchitektur (IA)
  • UX-Design
  • UI-Design
  • 3D
  • Motion Design
  • Unity3D
  • Content-Produktion


The Ghost Detector - portal into a parallel world.

The Ghost detector is a mixed-reality exhibit that offers a fascinating and approachable introduction into the overall concept of the HIDDEN SIDE, using only simple LEGO bricks. For this, visitors place their LEGO bricks inside the Ghost Detector. The brick is scanned for paranormal activity and its virtual ghost is then extracted and captured to great effect. Via AR, users can take a selfie with the captured ghost that is instantly printed out as a giveaway.

Immersive Storytelling

More than just playing around with technology.

The unique appeal of the HIDDEN SIDE originates from its exciting and creative storyline. The technology behind the story always serves to make the realm of HIDDEN SIDE and its characters as real and involving as possible. For the execution of our Ghost Detector, we developed the story further with existing characters and original sounds and voice actors.
For this, visitors are guided through the “unhaunting procedure” by Professor J.B., one lead character of the HIDDEN SIDE storyline. From successfullyl scanning the brick to obtaining a desireable trophy: The ghost selfie. The specifically made-to-match LED lightshow sets a spooky mood to add to the effect.

Construction and Technical Consulting

Captivating virtuality for kids to touch and feel.

The heartpiece of the experience is the in-scale LEGO-style construction of the machine Every detail of the HIDDEN SIDE product world was considered and refined through interactive elements. Via a fully-automatic, sensor-controlled procedure, we access visual information on the type and color of the LEGO brick. Being able to distinguish one brick from another, the Ghost Detector knows which ghost character is assigned to each type of brick.
The high end lighting concept, created in loving detail, supports the atmospheric immersion of visitors into the story. The resulting miniverse of a child-oriented multimedia adventure and palpable, real-world feedback lets children dive into a playful product experience with long-lasting effect.

Experience Design (UI/UX, 3D and Motion Design)

A terrifically spooky experience

The HIDDEN SIDE captivates people not only through its exciting story – the toy concept needs to impress on a visual level just as much.
The Ghost Detector aspires to create an immersive experience that captivates not through flashy gadgets, but through visualizing the story ina thrilling way- For this, we kept all imagery and animation close to the visual language of the product world. Graphic elements derived from existing material or was created accordingly. Static UX elements were brought to life with elaborate 3D animation and motion graphics. Characters, procedures and interface elements were designed especially for child interaction.

Unity3D Development

One language sets everything in motion.

On basis of Unity3D, we created a user experience that interlocks hard- and software elements seamlessly. By extending the framework with openCV, we were able to develop a solution to distinguish the type and color of LEGO bricks with a scanner implemented into the exhibit.

An elaborate interplay of servo-motors, LED lighting effects and eerie sound design turned the Ghost Detector into a highly haptical, audiovisual experience.

An implemented depth-sensing camera detects the position and distance of the viewer when shooting the ghost selfie, giving us the ability to let ghosts move three-dimensionally inside the frame. Therefore, ghosts can interact in a deceptively real way and move through the room, in front of and behind the viewer freely.

For the finale of the experience, viewers can take their ghost selfie home with them as a hunting trophy. The integrated thermal printer prints out the photo within seconds.

Results and Highlights of the Tour

Germany becomes a nation of ghost-hunters.

The Ghost Detector offers a variable, scaleable and immersive product experience and already could spark excitement for the HIDDEN SIDE and enchant over 12.000 visitors at 27 events in 20 German cities - in the truest sense of the word. On average, over 242 ghosts were caught, banned onto selfie photographs and taken home every day – at landmarks such as the Potsdam Square in Berlin, the Marienplatz in Munich and the Cathedral Square in Cologne.
Its overwhelming success led to LEGO planning for an consecutive Ghost Detector tour of 30 German cities in 2020, to once more enchant tall and small visitors alike with the eerie call off the HIDDEN SIDE.

  • Client:
    LEGO GmbH Germany
  • Industry:
    Consumer Goods and Retail
  • Services:
    Creative Direction / Art Direction / Conception / Technical Consulting / Information Architecture (IA) / UX-Design / UI-Design / Motion Design / 3D / Unity3D Development / Content-Production
  • Year: