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Escaping from Augmented Reality

Scriptum is a new AR escape room app that lets you step into another dimension. But will you be able to find the way out?

It is really interesting with any new platform to see what types of games become popular as the medium evolves. And it’s often not what you’d expect. Even as mobiles became able to handle better graphics and high-speed Internet access on the move became ubiquitous, it was still the relatively simple games like FarmVille, Candy Crush and Angry Birds that stole the show and had millions of people glued to the little screens.

It is really interesting with any new platform to see what types of games become popular as the medium evolves Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Immersive Technology Digital Transformation Technology Consultancy Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Alice Bonasio MR AR VR XR ESCAPE ROOM SCRIPTUM

With immersive technologies, there’s now a dizzying array of creative experimentation going on, and it’s fair to say we’ve barely scratched the surface. One of the ways you can tell this is true is by spotting how many designers claim that their game is the first ever of its kind.

With immersive technologies, there’s now a dizzying array of creative experimentation going on Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Immersive Technology Digital Transformation Technology Consultancy Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Alice Bonasio MR AR VR XR ESCAPE ROOM SCRIPTUM

Such is the case with Scriptum, which is bringing escape rooms to AR. For those not familiar with the concept, an escape room is a location-based experience where a group of people – family, friends, colleagues – go to role play and solve interactive puzzles as part of a narrative adventure, typically lasting around an hour, but it can vary.

Scriptum is bringing escape rooms to AR Click To Tweet

To start the game, you simply scan the floor of the room in which you’re standing, and step through the portal that appears Click To Tweet Perhaps not surprisingly, this idea originated in Japan, but over the past few years it has really gained popularity around the world. The U.S. has seen what can only be described as a boom in this sector, which has grown from 22 companies to over 2,000 in the past four years. One of the most successful of those, Mission Escape Games, says it attracted 140,000 visitors in 2017.

“Escape rooms are becoming more popular around the world, and Scriptum is a mystery puzzle game that capitalizes on that trend and uses AR to recreate that. You have to find all the clues, and reach the exit through the portal in less than 15 minutes,” explains Alex Balcells, CEO at Adver2Play, the Barcelona-based company which developed Scriptum. “There might be other detective games out there, but Scriptum is the first app to put you inside of a real Escape Room.”

To start the game, you simply scan the floor of the room in which you’re standing, and step through the portal that appears. Then, of course, comes the tricky part of having to puzzle your way out of that room as quickly as possible by collecting clues and figuring out the puzzles.

The idea of Escape Rooms originated in Japan, but over the past few years it has gained popularity around the world Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Immersive Technology Digital Transformation Technology Consultancy Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Alice Bonasio MR AR VR XR ESCAPE ROOM SCRIPTUM

The U.S. has seen what can only be described as a boom in this sector, which has grown from 22 companies to over 2,000 in the past four years Click To Tweet

It’s essentially very simple, but as it’s often the case, the proof of the pudding is in the execution. If people are engaged with the puzzles enough, they will buy into the concept more fully and the experience will gel. And according to Balcells, this is exactly what they’ve seen since launching Scriptum, adding that they’re very encouraged by the high levels of interest the app generated so far.

Scriptum is currently available to download on Google play and iTunes for free, but there is no doubt that there is a very attractive commercial market for this sort of product out there. Real-life escape rooms are often fully booked, specially at weekends, and can generate hundreds of thousands in revenue depending on their popularity.

Scriptum is currently available to download on Google play and iTunes for free, but there is no doubt that there is a very attractive commercial market for this sort of product out there Click To Tweet

Tech Trends Immersive Technology Digital Transformation Technology Consultancy Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Alice Bonasio MR AR VR XR ESCAPE ROOM SCRIPTUM

Since the whole concept hinges on merging fantasy and real-world elements it seems like a natural fit for AR Click To Tweet

And since the whole concept hinges on merging fantasy and real-world elements, it would certainly seem like a natural fit for AR. Will it become the medium’s killer “sticky” app though? Only time will tell. In the meantime, good luck getting back to the real world.

This article was originally published on VRScout

 

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Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.

 

Tech Trends Immersive Technology Digital Transformation Technology Consultancy Mixed Reality Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Alice Bonasio MR AR VR XR ESCAPE ROOM SCRIPTUM