Alone Together to demo at Belfast XR Festival

Alone Together has been selected as one of ten stories and experiences to display at the inaugural Belfast XR Festival on Wednesday 9th November.

We are thrilled to be joining some of the world’s leading immersive talents as we present the results of one of our most exciting, creative and innovative partnerships to date with the incomparable Dustin HarveyKoumbie en Taylor Olson.

Alone Together is an experiment in episodic immersive drama. It uses advanced AI, voice recognition and cutting edge hologram production to depict a near future in which audiences are cast as a rented family member, procured to help their hosts deal with the challenges of everyday life including guilt, anxiety and loss.

Try it yourself at Belfast XR Festival, or get in touch with the team to find out more.

Belfast XR Festival is part of the Belfast Film Festival which runs from 3 to 12 November 2022.

Tickets available hier.

A Massive Step for the Real-World Metaverse

Light beams on an aerial view in AR

Late last week, Niantic launched Lightship VPS for Web – instantly advancing the state of immersive tech further than anything else has managed to since we started Arcade 5 years ago.

What is Lightship VPS for Web?

It is not so much a new product launch, but the combination of two already powerful platforms:

8th Wall – the most advanced WebAR platform in the world, that empowers agencies like us to create augmented reality experiences that can be accessed through the web browser (without the need for a native app).

and:

Lightship VPS – a visual positioning system for mobile devices to not just recognise the location of a user in the real world, but also understand the spatial and semantic nature of their surroundings, enabling us to create hyper-contextual augmented reality experiences.

So why is this so exciting?

Arcade’s mission of ‘connecting people to place through play’ is founded on a belief in the latent power of the devices in our pockets to connect people to the real world, and to make more of it through play and storytelling. And this is exactly what this release will allow us to do, producing more relevant and engaging experiences that feel seamlessly integrated into the world around us, accessible to anyone with a mobile device.

We have demonstrated the impact of this type of approach recently with our Keeper of Paintings experience at the National Gallery. By programming iOS and Android devices to recognise the real-world paintings, we were able to tell such a compelling story that over 40% of users are repeat visitors – that’s kids wanting to return to an art gallery to carry on playing!

Play Video

The real-world metaverse?

The Keeper of Paintings is an app-based experience, but Lightship VPS for Web will allow creators like us to combine this kind of world-understanding with the accessible nature of WebAR. This is the power of what Niantic calls ‘the real-world metaverse’. Niantic CEO John Hanke has made the point that ‘Metaverse’ is a term appropriated from dystopian portrayals of a future where society no longer wants to inhabit the real world and instead escapes into virtual ones. This is not the future that Niantic – or Arcade – is building towards.

Lightship VPS for Web is Niantic’s latest response to the hype and hyperbole surrounding the ‘metaverse’, that asks us all to believe in the world we have. Not to escape it, or leave it behind, but to join together in revealing its magic and beauty, exploring new ways to engage with it and each other.

We believe. Let’s go.

Meet Dan!

The wonderful and alliterative Dan Dawkins joined Arcade earlier this year after impressing during his very successful internship.

To mark his first three months with the agency, Emma sat down with Dan to ask him about his journey to and with Arcade, what he is aiming to achieve in future, and any tips for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.

If you’ve got any questions for Dan, hit him up at dan@arcade.ltd. Arcade is always on the lookout for bright, talented, creative people, so if you’re interested in joining Dan and the rest of the agency, drop a note to careers@arcade.ltd.

The Hundred Cricket Attax Cards Brought To Life In AR

Many of us remember fondly the thrill of opening a new pack of stickers or cards, seeing which sporting heroes we had picked up this time. Got. Got. Need! Ooh, a shiny!

But how awesome would it have been for those players to leap up out of the cards and show off their skills right in front of us? Well, now they can!

A NEW KIND OF COLLECTIBLE

The world of collectible cards took leap into the future with the release of this year’s Topps Cricket Attax, a set of cards featuring all the superstars from The Hundred, cricket’s newest and most exciting competition.

Not only could fans build up their collection of players from all the teams, they could also see many of them leap up out of the cards and show off their signature skills in magical WebAR!

By simply scanning the QR code on the back of the limited edition cards, fans could open a special web page using just their mobile browser, and point their device at the card to unlock the player as a 3D avatar.

Enjoy watching the player show what makes them so special, pause or slow down the motions to get a unrivalled view of their techniques, and take a photo or video to keep and share.

MEET THE PLAYERS

Topps Cricket Attax AR was built on WebAR platform 8th Wall to complement ‘Meet The Players’, the ground-breaking AR experience that lets fans get even closer to the avatars via the Sky Sports and The Hundred apps.

Users can enjoy a whole variety of skills and even step through portals to visit the players’ home grounds! Learn more about Meet the Players, including the motion capture and avatar creation process hier.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WEB AR, GET IN TOUCH

Arcade Shortlisted for Niantic Lightship AR Accelerator

Niantic Lightship

Arcade is very pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted as one of eight immersive studios invited to develop and pitch game-changing immersive experiences, in the hope of being offered a place on the Augmented Reality Accelerator run by Digital Catapult and powered by Niantic Lightship.

An open call by Digital Catapult and Niantic Labs – creator of some of the most famous AR experiences in the world, including Pokémon GO – was announced earlier this year, inviting creators from across the immersive sector in the UK to develop new ways of demonstrating Niantic’s vision of the ‘real world metaverse’, using the cutting edge features of their new platform, Lightship.

Of the three challenges on offer, we chose to apply for ‘Retail and the Future of the High Street’, a fascinating and complex opportunity to drive real change for one of the sectors that needs it the most.

A challenging six weeks lie ahead, in which we will hone and polish – and potentially tear apart – our concept before pitching to a panel from Digital Catapult and Niantic in late August. The prize on offer is the funding for a demonstrator experience, and the chance to collaborate with some of the leading players in the global AR landscape.

Wish us luck!

Concept art for Niantic Lightship

National Gallery Launches on Roblox

Keeper Council is a free, family-friendly game for Roblox inspired by The Keeper of Paintings augmented reality experience at The National Gallery in London.

Designed to offer 7-11 year olds a way to engage with the World of Keepers even if they are not at the Gallery, Keeper Council is a combined ‘tycoon’ and ‘obby’ Roblox game that invites kids to explore the magical crossroads where Keepers from all over the world meet up to hone their skills and catch up on all the latest Keeper goss.

Players are challenged to adventure through the mystical Keeper Council world, meeting different Keepers, completing their quests and being rewarded with masterpieces from The National Gallery so they can build their very own collection.

Like the Keeper of Paintings game itself, Keeper Council was developed in collaboration with a diverse set of young audiences, with over 80 children helping the Arcade team to create a game that met their very high standards!

Keeper Council represents an exciting new approach to engaging children for the Gallery and a first for the entire sector on Roblox, which was selected as the ideal platform to develop a game for remote audiences given its near-universal familiarity amongst the target age group.

"The result is a truly innovative experience that young people will love, whether they’ve been to The National Gallery before or not."
Professor James Bennett
Director of StoryFutures
"The way the project has evolved with the children through the design process is really special."
Lawrence Chiles
Head of Digital, The National Gallery
"We are grateful to the Gallery for letting us set this new benchmark in cultural engagement with them. We can't wait for families to meet the Keeper Council and get playing!"
Jon Meggitt
Jon Meggitt
Co-Founder, Arcade

Keeper Council and The Keeper of Paintings were commissioned by The National Gallery and StoryFutures, Royal Holloway, University of London, as part of StoryFutures China, a research and development project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). StoryFutures China is led by Brunel Design School, Brunel University London.

Read the full press release and coverage on The National Gallery website hier.

The game is free to play and currently available on desktop and laptop on Roblox hier.

Game. Set. Snap! at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu, star of our AR magic mirror experience at Wimbledon

A fantastic couple of weeks of sport came to an end on Sunday 10th July, but not before thousands of Wimbledon visitors got the chance to have their photo taken with superstar HSBC Global Ambassadors Emma Raducanu and Tim Henman!

Well ok, not actually with them, but the next best thing – an AR pic next to a virtual version of these tennis heroes.

This activation was developed for HSBC, a partner of The Championships, Wimbledon. In collaboration with CSM Sports and Entertainment, ‘Game, Set, Snap’ was installed at two Wimbledon fan zones for the duration of the two-week tournament.

The experience uses ‘magic mirror’ techniques, employing a combination of touchscreen, 4K camera, media player and 2D chroma key holograms to create the effect. Each session also generates a unique URL which users can access via QR code, with a simple web interface and backend allowing fans to download and share their images privately and securely.

Although crowd favourite Emma was eliminated early, the good news for fans was that they could still meet her in a shot of their choice, and walk away with a souvenir photo to share with the friends and family.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IMMERSIVE FAN ENGAGEMENT, GET IN TOUCH

Meet Arcade at CogX 2022

Arcade is pleased to announce that we have been invited to take part in CogX 2022, with co-founder and CSO Alex Book participating in a panel discussion led by Digital Catapult on Wednesday 15th June at 9am in Kings Cross.

Having been named as ‘Ones to Watch’ by CogX in 2019 and 2020, it is an honour to be joining the festival – and London Tech Week in general – as a contributor in 2022.

Alex will be on a panel chaired by Jeremy Silver, CEO at Digital Catapult, alongside Suhair Khan, Chair, Studio Wayne McGregor, and Ben Timmons, Director of Business Development at Qualcomm Europe.

If you would like to attend, CogX have kindly offered complimentary passes to Arcade’s network. Simply visit the booking page hier and enter promo code COGX2022SPEAKER1.

Alex Book Presenting at Createch
Alex Book presenting at CogX in 2019

Second Keeper Adventure Launches at NPL

Keeper of Measurements AR app

The Keeper of Measurements: Metric Mayhem has launched today at the National Physical Laboratory as part of their World Metrology Day celebrations.

Visitors to the NPL’s open day will be able to explore the astonishing science that is carried out across its labs in Teddington, and embark on an adventure to help the Keeper of Measurements rescue the SI Bots that have been captured by the dastardly Croakers.

THE KEEPER STORYWORLD

The World of the Keepers is a liminal space that exists alongside our own. Overlaid, intertwined but rarely seen by human eyes. Home to the mysterious guardians of our world’s most important cultural collections and sources of knowledge.

The National Physical Laboratory’s Keeper of Measurements is one such guardian. With absolute mastery of the SI, the seven major units that measure mass, length, time, current, temperature, substance and luminosity, the Keeper of Measurements is unrivalled in this realm.

But the Keepers are not alone in their power. The shadowy legion of Croakers are intent on creating chaos and discord, disrupting the equilibrium that the Keepers work so hard to preserve.

The Keeper of Measurements is beyond even the Croakers’ abilities, but the SI-Bots, each created to serve the Keeper of Measurements, are not so strong. The Croakers saw their chance and took it, abducting the seven Si-Bots and imprisoning them around the National Physical Laboratory!

Weakened by the loss of the SI-Bots, the Keeper of Measurements needs your help to restore their power by finding the Bots and thwarting the dastardly Croakers.

Join the Keeper of Measurements on a magical quest at the National Physical Laboratory. Have you got what it takes to rescue the SI-Bots from the shadowy Croakers and save World Metrology Day?

The Keeper of Measurements is the second Keepers adventure, following The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception which launched at The National Gallery earlier this year.

More Keepers stories are planned with other cultural institutions. If you’re interested in creating your own Keeper experience, please kom in contact.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE KEEPER OF MEASUREMENTS OR TO TALK TO THE TEAM, GET IN TOUCH

Keeper of Paintings Nominated for an Auggie

Auggir Awards logo (AR Awards)

Just a couple of weeks after its launch at The National Gallery in London, The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception has received its first award nomination. The immersive game created for, and in collaboration with, 7-11 year olds and their families is up for ‘Best in Location-Based Entertainment’ at the prestigious Auggies, run by AWE.

Voting is open to the public until May 5th, and you can register here to vote for The Keeper of Paintings and any of the other incredible immersive experiences across 15 categories.

Find out more about The Keeper of Paintings hier, and book your ticket to play the game for free at The National Gallery hier!

Children and Augmented Reality Characters in the National Gallery

Get in touch to find out more