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Holovis designs London’s first ever AR treasure hunt

London sightseeing company, Golden Tours, has paired with experience designers Holovis to create the city’s first augmented reality treasure hunt game.

The Hop-on Hop-off Treasure Hunt app brings London’s most iconic landmarks to life through the AR design as the user hunts for the missing crown jewels.

Downloadable onto a smartphone from both the Google Play Store and the App Store, the experience begins when boarding a Golden Tours open top bus. The user is given a paper map that, once scanned through the Golden Tours app interface, is brought to life using AR. The app will show the route they have boarded with a virtual bus circulating along the road with key sites jumping out in 3D.

The user must then complete a series of London trivia with bonus opportunities and visit London’s historical landmarks in order to save Her Majesty’s crown jewels, collect rewards and unlock a top secret finale experience. Throughout the mission, there are also photo opportunities including one by the most iconic landmark in London, with one-click capability to share on social media.

The app also uses location settings and an established geofence to locate the user’s position and uses this intelligence to present them with information on local points of interest complimenting the on-board audio guide with a visual counterpart.

“The app is incredibly intuitive so knows where you are and at exactly the right moment brings up facts or starts asking you questions about the location of interest,” explained Peter Cliff, creative director of Holovis. “People will really need to engage with the location in order to find the answers, encouraging everyone to delve in and learn more about the incredible history of London.”

Mikesh Palan, MD of Golden Tours commented: “The Hop-on Hop-off Treasure Hunt app is a great way to expand our offering on our open top buses and enhance the customer experience beyond your standard bus tour. The great use of gamification bringing London to life for customers of all ages matched with the fact-finding mission is perfect for everyone – whether they’re a visitor to London or local.’

The app is available for download from 1 November 2017.