Augmented reality treasure hunts, hide and seek adventures, guided tours, and walks are not the next big thing. They are a current opportunity for any organization that needs a creative way to engage with their customers while helping people to spend time or travel more meaningfully. AR walks can help creators inspire people to explore lesser known or forgotten areas or entice footfall to brand new spots.

People want to explore the great outdoors but are often lacking guidance or initiative. But the epic growth of Geocaching in the past decade or the AR-enhanced Pokemon Go craze go to prove that hide and seek games and treasure hunts capture vast audiences. Here you’ll find some great examples to inspire your treasure hunting projects.

Marker-based augmented reality tours

A marker-based AR treasure hunt is the most DIY-friendly and cost-effective solution. You can use any self-service AR creator and combine your marker designs with AR experiences. 

 

A great example of this is the augmented reality tour “Riga Through the Eyes of Chekhov. It takes theatre fans to ten locations that feature AR boards in Rīga. Once the board is scanned with a mobile device’s camera, a video layer comes to life, providing exclusive content that details its importance for the world-famous director, Mr Michael Chekhov. All marker locations are highlighted on the project’s website so people can explore in any order or timeframe they wish.

 

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Another option would be to create a marker-based augmented reality experience that follows a concrete path or timeline. This can be achieved by providing a hint for the following location when the marker is scanned.

 

To make the user journey more interactive, you can integrate buttons on markers that take people to other digital content such as quizzes, puzzles or websites that provide the hint. This may be especially relevant in museum environments where traditional guided group excursions have been put on pause.

 

A cool example was launched by Skriðuklaustur, a historical site in Iceland with the ruins of a 16th-century monastery. A white-label AR app was developed as part of an exhibition to encourage users to explore the monastery’s history. The mobile app features treasure hunt style and quiz games leading players to clues and rewards.

 In terms of the content that can appear on an AR marker, you can explore our blog on 14 features such as videos, galleries, 3D experiences that you can create using Overly AR creator.

Object-inspired AR mini adventures

A level up from traditional flat-surface markers in terms of creating a DIY treasure hunt is using various objects as markers. As AR technology is still in its infancy, you must recruit experts to ensure that the chosen items are readable by computer vision. Explore more on what markers are best for AR here.  

 

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest is a successful augmented reality treasure hunt that showcases great use of this technology. Oreo teamed up with tech experts to create a white label AR app that uses image recognition to turn everyday objects into AR triggers. Players receive clues to hunt down things and scan into the app to unlock the virtual cookies.  Although this project was launched way before the global pandemic hit, it is an excellent idea on how to brighten routine days at home.

GPS or location-based AR expeditions

If you cannot place marker images at your desired locations, you can opt for GPS-powered augmented reality experiences. This is most likely going to be a white-label solution, but if your budget permits, it can be especially amazing in driving travel to rural areas. 

 

An example of GPS-powered AR is demonstrated by a Latvian TV show that aims to inspire local travel. During each episode, viewers are given a clue where they can look for the show’s mascot. People have been looking for a physical replica since 2013, but today travellers can also download an augmented reality app and be on their way. The app guides users to the approximate mascot location, enables photo captures with their augmented reality finds, and lets viewers prove their treasure hunting success through social sharing.

Land Rover UK recently launched an AR treasure hunt across the British isles to encourage people to explore the outdoors by tracking down hundreds of inspiring natural, cultural, and scenic locations in the UK. Travellers must use their mobile devices to log onto a website that uses augmented reality to turn the UK into a real-world map of inspiring locations. Once the user has physically made their way to the location on the map, a content card appears, providing information on the area and why it has been selected. The travellers can then use their phone camera to be transported to an AR Experience.

We love Land Rover’s initiative because it responds to the fact that more than 8 in 10 UK adults are dealing with stress due to the global pandemic. Reportedly, spending time and exploring outdoors is one of the top coping strategies. 

 

That is why NOW is the best time for organizations to help local and broader communities to find new ways to travel, explore and enjoy the culture. Augmented reality treasure hunts or tours can enhance those efforts. 

 

If you want to discuss your project, contact us at hello@overlyapp.com or sign up to our AR creator and build marker-based treasure hunts today!

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