Published On: April 19th, 2021|By |Categories: Augmented Reality|

Games bring entertainment and enrichment into our lives. The gamification market is one of the most rapidly developing sectors – it is expected to reach $38.42 million in value by 2026, almost four times as much as it was valued in 2020. The main reason for this aggressive expansion is the increase of the number of smartphones and mobile devices owned by the public.

Additionally, gamification systems can influence human behavior, increasing productivity and engagement, inducing innovation, curiosity, and positive emotions. Games are not used only for entertainment anymore – they are now an integral part of marketing, education, various types of training, tourism, and more.

So, what happens when a traditionally loved game like treasure hunt meets cutting-edge technology like augmented reality?

We’re not going to lie, the results are pretty incredible. But let’s start from the beginning.

What is a treasure hunt?

Treasure hunt is a game in which participants have to find clues that will lead them to their “treasure” – some sort of a prize at the end of the game. A scavenger hunt is a similar activity; although in a scavenger hunt, participants typically look for specific hidden objects from a list, not a series of clues.

The original treasure hunt has been popular since the 1930s, especially among children. However, no one says that adults cannot have their own versions of treasure hunts and enjoy them just as much as the kids.

This is especially true if the classic treasure hunt concept is enhanced with augmented reality.

Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt

In augmented reality (AR), the real world is supplemented with digital content. To better explain this, here is an example: imagine that you are watching your friend swinging a broom around as though it were a lightsaber. When you switch on your phone camera in the right AR experience and point it at your friend, the broom handle can actually become a lightsaber on the screen!

To take part in an AR experience, all you need is AR software (a pre-made experience) and a mobile device that supports this type of technology. (Most smartphones do, these days.)

The clues that you find in the AR treasure hunt are in augmented reality. Typically, you have to find a specific trigger (an image or a QR code) to scan it with your phone to see your clue. You also might have to reach a certain location to have the AR clue show up on your mobile device. (Think Pokemon Go and all the different creatures scattered around the world.)

Here is an example of what an AR treasure hunt app may look like:

Benefits of AR Treasure Hunt

The most significant benefit of an interactive treasure hunt app is that it can be used in any business in any industry. Here are some of the advantages of incorporating this type of software solution into your work:

  • Sky-high engagement. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty, strengthen your relationship with your existing customers, or increase the engagement of your students or employees – there is no better way than a game in emerging technology. Augmented reality is still new enough for most, and incredibly entertaining to use. You never know what you’re going to get when you scan the next clue, and the excitement becomes palpable!
  • Enhanced storytelling. Brands that tell their authentic story develop deeper bonds with their customers. And strong customer relationships lead to customer loyalty and repeat purchases. An AR treasure hunt app will help you tell your brand’s story in a way that’s not been done before. Each clue could be a part of your brand’s journey, and your consumers will love to follow that adventure as it unfolds.
  • Increased retention. Textbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and monotonous training videos are a thing of the past. Not one student or employee can remember much from a dreary training session where a disinterested instructor drones on about an uninteresting topic. But even an uninteresting topic presented in a cool, innovative way can become fascinating! Studies have shown that, through the use of AR and VR, people tend to remember what they’ve learned better and for longer periods of time compared to traditional learning techniques.
  • Stronger team bonds. If you’re not sure what activity to choose for your next team-building event, an augmented reality treasure hunt is a serious contender. Divide your employees into teams and watch them take part in some friendly competition to win the treasure hunt prize! Expect a lot of laughter, playful ribbing, and excited running around, especially if you organize an outdoor AR treasure hunt.

Two Types of AR Treasure Hunt

Based on the way in which clues are found and AR experiences are loaded on mobile devices, there are two primary types of AR treasure hunt games you can choose from:

  • Marker-Based AR Treasure Hunt – Marker-based AR means that there is a marker – an image, a QR code, or a 3D object that you scan with your phone camera. The marker then triggers your AR experience. A treasure hunt game based on this typically involves participants looking for specific 2D or 3D images or QR codes hidden across a specific area. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Geo Location-Based Treasure Hunt – An AR experience can also be activated by a GPS location. All a person needs to do is to arrive at the designated destination with their mobile device (and AR app), and their experience will start, guiding them through their task or hinting at the next location they need to visit. A GPS treasure hunt is better suited for the outdoors, but it can work indoors as well, with certain limitations.
The difference between Marker-Based and GPS-Based AR Treasure Hunt.

What You Need for a Thrilling AR Treasure Hunt

Mobile Device

All of those participating in the AR hunt need to have an AR-ready mobile device. Whether or not a phone is AR-ready is difficult to say, as there is a variety of technologies available for building augmented reality experiences.

If you want to make sure that all or most of your participants will be able to enjoy the treasure hunt, check with the software developers about the type of mobile devices their solution supports. If you’re looking for an app developed for a specific purpose, have a discussion with your software providers about the mobile device requirements.

Software Solution

Even if you have an AR-ready device, you cannot play a treasure hunt game unless you have the right application installed (or can access it via the web).

Treasure hunt software solutions can come in various forms. Here are some of the notable features they can have:

  • Indoor and outdoor versions
  • A single AR treasure hunt or a series of them
  • Sign up screen (users who do not have the right username and password cannot participate)
  • Augmented reality-based clues
  • Questions and answers to make the game more challenging
  • Hints
  • “Ask a friend” via social networks option
  • Cash prizes, or voucher rewards
  • Leaderboard
  • Game analytics

The software you’re planning doesn’t have to include all of these. You need to select the features that will drive the most engagement for your business and provide the most memorable experience for your consumers.

If you’re interested in an AR treasure hunt adventure for your customers, employees, or students, you’re in luck! ARVRtech happens to have just the right product for you. Take a look at our AR treasure hunt page and contact us with your project details. We’ll be more than happy to develop a game that will blow your competitors out of the water!

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