Up at The O2

The AR experience at Up at The O2

Both native Londoners and the millions that visit the capital city each year are now presented with a unique opportunity to climb one of the world’s greatest arenas, thanks to the “Up at The O2” attraction. Once at the summit, visitors can then take advantage of a stunning 360º view of London, and use the Wikitude-powered augmented reality element to further explore their surroundings.

by O2

The use of Augmented Reality was an easy choice to include for this type of experience, and one that is proving extremely popular with the visitors
Ian Griggs, 2012 | Mobile Software Developer, O2

Billed as a 90-minute experience, groups of up to 30 visitors scale the roof of The O2 via a 190-meter long tensile fabric walkway, rising to the 53 metre-high summit. Once visitors have reached the peak, an observation deck allows for 360º views across greater London.

Taking advantage of this unique view, O2 has built a companion app for the experience, complete with a Wikitude powered augmented reality view. Visitors equipped with the Up at The O2 app can open the viewer, and zero in on buildings in the distance to discover not only what they are looking at, but also some further information about the place of interest. So they don’t only enjoy a great view, they get some insight on their surroundings – something that both locals and visitors can appreciate.

“The Up at The O2 app is a companion app to a expedition over one of the world’s most popular entertainment venue in London and so the emphasis had to be in developing something with exciting features that would add to the experience. The use of Augmented Reality was an easy choice to include for this type of experience, and one that is proving extremely popular with the visitors,” comments O2’s Mobile Software Developer Ian Griggs

Griggs also points to the need for the app to be universally available. O2 managed to save time and development costs by employing Wiktude’s four years of award-winning development and experience, instead of building the technology from the ground up. “We compared a number of Augmented Reality toolkits and settled on the Wikitude SDK as not only did it target both iPhone and Android, but due to the use of web technologies to create the visual elements on the screen, we could essentially develop the feature once and copy over onto the other platform and have it function exactly the same way,” adds Griggs.But don’t just take our world for it. O2 outlines the creation of the app as well as their real-world testing of Wikitude’s features and functionality.

The Up at the O2 app is now available for iOS handsets in the App Store and Android handsets at Google Play.

Facts

  • Faster time to market thanks to cross platform programming and compiling
  • Adds a relevant, fun, and useful geo-based information to the event experience, furthering user engagement

Applied Technology

  • Wikitude SDK
  • ARchitect Engine
  • Image Drawables

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