There are ghosts on the streets of Vancouver and mobile users are hunting them.
That is to say, players with smartphones are hunting ghosts in a recent augmented reality mobile gaming experience that Motive.io built to show what its growing platform can do.
The platform is part of a spectrum of projects in the location-based AR-space, each in some way aiming to empower developers, marketers and advertisers to bring immersive on-screen experiences to consumers.
Peter Wittig, Motive.io’s senior developer and co-founder, says the future of these mobile engagements is all about narrative, personalisation and building a future in which meaningfully entertaining moments connect consumers to brands.
Here's what he had to say in an exclusive interview.
Mark Ollila: Tell us more about the ghost-hunting mobile AR game in Vancouver.
Peter Wittig: What you're doing in this game is finding tools to build ghost traps and with those tools you can track the ghosts and succeed in your missions.
As you can walk around, what’s on your screen is really downtown Vancouver… and you'll get those moments where an AR experience will happen on your device - text, images, audio and video as well.
What kind of platform is Motive.io building to create these experiences? What does it mean for the future of not only mobile AR games, but mobile augmented reality for marketing?
One of the things that I think marketers really want is an effective AR editor. We could put a template on their phone right now and they could start playing with ideas.
They could also quickly prototype something. Say they have a meeting with a client or a big brand, they can say: "Let me give you an idea. Not just a PowerPoint, let's go outside and go for a quick walk and I'll show you what this thing can do."
I think that will be quite a selling point for marketers, being able to say: "We're already so much further ahead than the other person you're going up against."
These are location-specific experiences, as you put it. How does that shape the mobile consumer/mobile gamer experience?
One of the big advantages of being out in the real world, walking out on a busy street, or in a shopping mall is that the consumer’s smartphone can address the surrounding context.
Advertisers should be able to adapt to that context, delivering a very specific message which is matched with that user in that location.
It should feel quite personal, so that people say: "I feel like it was made for me.” A lot of how AR intersects with marketing has to do with narrative as well. Why are you bringing people to these places? Maybe approaching them with an offer, if they’re close to a location, putting a location in the game world and then driving people to that spot.
Does a platform like this one have to be used only for mobile game developments? Are there additional applications?
You could create tours of a city, if you aren't doing something that's gamified and if what you want to share with the user is more of an educational thing or a historical thing.
You can create these catalogs - the backbone of what you use to create your experiences: characters, locations, all the things you want to select in-world and use in a script to direct the gameplay, or to direct any kind of narrative.
What kind of advertiser or campaign is the prime candidate for the upcoming generation of augmented reality interfaces?
What we find is that consumers who engage in AR experiences are young. So, anyone who's looking to sell to young people, individuals who are in that millennial category, or aged 18 to 30, should be interested in this space.