Virtual reality

Find Cool Activities By Following These AR Beacons

Drop a geo-anchored augmented reality (AR) beacon to let everyone know where the party is at.

A startup company called Skidattl wants to make it easier for you to find new events using geo-anchored augmented reality (AR) technology. First reported by TechCrunch, the Skidattl app allows event organizers to create an AR beacon and “pin” it to a specific location in the physical world. Those with the Skidattl app can then use their smartphones to find the event by following its respective AR beacon.

Randy Marsden, one of Skidattl’s co-founders, envisions a wide range of uses for the app. For example, a music venue could use a beacon to post its lineup of artists for the night; a restaurant could share its daily specials; a movie theater could post the screening times for the latest Hollywood blockbuster; a business could advertise its available job positions.

The app could even be used by individuals for non-commercial purposes. For example, you could be at a crowded music festival and throw up a Skidattl beacon to help your friends find your exact location. According to Marsden, you would just have to scan the horizon with your phone or with AR glasses to discover beacons at a distance of up to 100 yards.

Once you’ve anchored your customized beacon, it will remain tethered to that specific real-world location for anyone with the Skidattl app to find.

Beacons can be shared privately to select individuals or with the general public. You can even target a specific demographic. Tools built into the app will allow you to create your message and then customize its visible range and appearance. Beacons will vanish after a set time to offer “in-the-moment” messaging. 

Skidattl’s AR beacons are powered by real-world GPS coordinates and use Google’s ARCore API to detect a user’s position in relation to the beacons. This API relies on Street View data. When you first open Skidattl, you’ll be asked to scan your general vicinity so the app can find your exact location and detect anchored geo-beacons in your area. 

You can also set up beacons indoors using Wi-Fi signals. Imagine going to a conference and using a Skidattl AR beacon to attract attendees to your booth or connect with other industry folks.  

“It’s like Pokemon GO for social networking; find friends at music festivals, advertise a garage sale, arrange an impromptu get-together, find a restaurant with open seating, and so much more,” says the Skidattl website.

The company intends on launching the app for free in March at SXSW. There’s also talk of an affiliate commission system and other premium subscriptions to enable additional marketing opportunities.

“I think we can kick start the business side pretty easily by giving them a free beacon,” said Marsden. “On the customer side, getting YouTube and TikTok influencers to talk about it, place ads, and that sort of thing. And then once we have someone in the app, we can give them incentives for sharing with their contacts.”

Skidattl is currently in the process of raising $500,000 to finish its MVP (minimum viable product) and secure the necessary funds for its March 2023 launch.

If you’re interested, you can get on their list to be invited to their first wave of Beta invitations by clicking here.

Image Credit: Skidattl


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