How Location-Based Augmented Reality Can Help Consumer Research

All across the world have people are leaving the confinements of their urban homes to enjoy playing location-based augmented reality games outside.

Obvously there is an addictive element in this type of games that moves people to go outside and wander around, thus fostering unity and inclusion.

Imagine if we could harvest this element of addictiveness through the data it generates and leverage the knowledge gained in research for customer research to make an even better urban experience.

In corporate engagement programs the concept of using games or game-like concepts (gamification) is not new. Loyalty cards are around for decades and location-based advertising is not only unpopular since the movie Minority Report. Several startups are already successfully engaged in this arena.

Where location-based augmented reality excels is the overlay of an immersive gaming layer on top of our daily lives. This is sometimes referred to as gamification.

Of course, gamification is not gaming. Or better not ONLY gaming. And by the term itself it is way past it’s prime. Gamification aims to use ‘game-like concepts’ in solving non-game problems.

Gamification wants to develop an engaging narrative that boosts intrinsic motivation through effective feedback loops. Examples for these game mechanics are the introduction of competition , a (cooperative) multi-player experience and the achievement based use incentives and rewards.

Similar to successful traditional management techniques, gamified location-based augmented reality apps succeed to create a common, shared, achievable, and measurable goal.

Usage of animated characters and visuals largely fails unless you are Nintendo or Disney with well established and beloved characters. And even Disney does not succeed in these things all the times as the shutdown of Disney Infinity has shown.

An example for this is ‘In Shadows’ (, in this real-time augmented reality running game, the players team-up as either ‘Hunters’ or ‘Shadows’ and aim to tag each other in a competitive 15 to 60 minutes workout. The common goal is to win the game, the scoring mechanism is tagging enemies.

Imagine how much more fun frequent flyer miles would be if on every airport one could collect another unique set of rewards and little pocket monsters that you could battle against in the plane or at specific locations in the wi-fi free airport?

The beauty of game likes these, and augmented reality as a whole, is that the tech doesn’t remove the human component, it is a complement.

Location-based ARuses tech to enhance the world around you, not replace it. It fosters genuine human interaction by having its users converge on real-world locations to meet and play.

Everything in these apps requires you to step outside your front door and explore the world around you. The data that is collected via such real-world based games where people actively engage is highly valuable.

And it has been shown from our internal analysis that there are desire-locations where in a given city parks, bicycle-ways, streets, parking-lots, and shopping malls should be build.

Of course one can easily imagine extending the analytics of this dataset for the analysis of human behaviour to support a better urban living.