The crime procedural show is the perhaps the most direct path to the average TV viewer's heart. Could the same hold true for augmented reality games?
Exhibit A: Forensic Detective: Inside the Crime Scene, a new, iOS-only mobile game for iPhones and iPads, that will be available in the App Store on May 31 (although attendees at CrimeCon 2018 in Nashville will get a sneak peek at the app on Friday).
The app uses augmented reality to reconstruct a crime scene in the player's environment. With voiceover narration providing exposition, players collect and examine virtual clues and narrow down their suspects until the perpetrator is identified.
"Oxygen is a leader in the crime genre for multiplatform storytelling, and as with all our original content, we strive to allow our viewers to play along as they try to solve a case," said Lisa Hsia, executive vice president of digital for Bravo & Oxygen Media, in a statement provided to Next Reality. "By taking advantage of the latest AR technology, we can push boundaries and give armchair detectives a unique opportunity to get out of their chairs and put their puzzle solving skills to the test using very real crime-solving methods."
To achieve a greater sense of realism, the game's developer, Neo-Pangea, leveraged the new vertical plane detection available via ARKit 1.5 to achieve room-scanning capabilities within the app. For example, the toolkit makes it possible to examine AR bullet holes in a real-world wall.
"ARKit 1.5 gave us the ability to weave in vertical plane detection as part of the game's narrative," said Matt Marsters, a mixed reality strategist at Neo-Pangea. "It's a real differentiator, making the user experience exceptionally rich since the app can render full-scale 3D thanks to spatial recognition. It's a bit like having an 'Escape the Room' experience right in your pocket."
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Exhibit B: For Android users, there's an alternative suspect in A&E Crime AR, which is available now in the Play Store for $0.99.
Also inspired by the true crime shows that A&E is known for, the game's premise is almost identical to Oxygen's AR app, with ARCore standing in for ARKit to display clues in the player's environment.
So if the "dun-dun" from Law & Order gets you excited, now you can get off the couch and into the investigation, in augmented reality.
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