Smartphone-based augmented reality showcase

Firstborn, a design and innovation agency has created the “Expedition Two70” experience for the Royal Caribbean, supposedly an augmented reality first-ever, a fully immersive AR built to function on a ship. It seems that traditional AR methods are designed for stable ground, not a floating ship. So Firstborn built the technology behind Expedition Two70 using AR anchors to produce enough stability even on a moving ship.

The experience invites guests to enter the ship’s Two70 entertainment room at any time, where they open the Royal Caribbean app and can take part in 4 challenges: Ruin Blaster, Temple Raiser, Summit of Light and Totem Recall. It transforms the ship’s entertainment room into one with challenges such as shooting at targets, solving puzzles and completing mazes.

(Note: The videos don’t have any audio.)

This is very interesting and contextual use of AR to keep guests occupied inside a ship. I just wonder why we don’t see this level of AR usage in other places with captive audiences. A few examples of use-cases:

1. Hotel rooms and lobbies: Inside hotel rooms, AR could help keep kids busy, or even act as entertainment options for adults/guests. At the lobby, AR could be used in a part of the area, much like how one part is used as a lounge with live music playing, to engage visitors and guests.

2. Model apartment at real estate companies: Brands can show multiple kinds of decor and kinds of interiors possible, through a tie-up with one or more interior design firms. So a prospective buyer walking into the model apartment could simply download the real estate company’s app and point to the wall, floor, ceiling etc and see how they can be transformed with a range of interior design options.

3. Shopping malls: There’s so much one can do in a mall, and in partnership with multiple brands! For the visitors of a mall, multiple brands can come together to build interactive games that people can play through the mall’s official app, in a designated spot in the mall lobby.

4. Airports: Similar to the Cruise’s usage. Airports can dedicate one zone for AR and use that to engage passengers and guests. They can even tie-up with the shops and brands present at the Airport for story-telling narratives or rewards.

So why aren’t we seeing more of this kind of AR? Is it because of the cost of production? Or is it to cost vs. ROI factor (which depends entirely on a planned execution, partnership and a full-fledged ROI strategy)? Or, is it the lack of good vendors who can create immersive storylines to engage via AR?