During a busy music festival event, losing sight of a friend is a common problem – but now there’s a solution. Spanish car manufacturer SEAT and experience creation agency Wildbytes have teamed up with Google to create an essential app for holiday audiences.
‘SEAT Lost&Sound’ allows people to find their friends using augmented reality. The app was recently unveiled by Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain.
To connect with friends, people simply need to open the app and scan the festival area with their camera lenses. If all parties have installed the application, an icon of the selected person will appear on their screen, indicating their position in the crowd and their distance from the finder.
Users can send signals to their friends to let them know where they are, in addition to asking friends to share their signals. If the user is currently inactive, they will receive a notification, so they can access their friend’s area the next time they open the app.
Intuitive personalization enhances this core functionality. Users can customize their personal icons (3D elements that hover over their AR environment to let friends find them). For example, users can choose from a variety of fun options including a giant pointing hand, a slice of pizza, a gummy bear, and a collection of donuts.
Along with SEAT, Wildbytes partnered with Google to design the concept, building the app and software from the ground up. Laia Zanon, creative production director at Wildbytes Barcelona, commented, “SEAT is investing heavily in connecting with the music festival scene, as they are clear lifestyle creators. The goal was to create something equally relevant and cool to the festival-goer.
Augmented reality is a hot topic today, but what people want today is a good AR implementation that is both purposeful and problem solving. This app tries to combine both elements: the cool factor of augmented reality, the solution to a key problem faced by festival goers: how to find your friends among thousands of people and have fun on the road?
Commenting on the process of building the app, Zanon said, “The main challenges we faced were around the UX of the app; The function of using augmented reality to find friends in a physical place is still very new, so we had to figure out how to get people used to it.
Technically, the challenge was to combine smartphone sensors, GPS data and location calculations with computer vision to get the best possible geo-location, which is limited by the accuracy of today’s GPS. Finally, of course, we worked to achieve the best results in terms of ‘digital symbols’ and icons that users choose to represent themselves.
Susan Franz, Director of Global Marketing Communications at SEAT, said: “SEAT has a very strong connection to the world of music festivals. With this app, we are pushing the limits of what is possible with technologies like geo-aware. Surroundings and augmented reality to make the music festival experience even more amazing than before. The partnership between SEAT, Google and Wildbytes was key to making such an amazing app a reality.
The ‘SEAT Lost&Sound’ app is available on Apple and Android in Europe.