In a crowded music festival setting, losing sight of friends is a common problem - but now there's a solution. Spanish car manufacturer SEAT and experiential innovation agency Wildbytes, in collaboration with Google, have created an essential app for festival-goers.
‘SEAT Lost&Sound’ enables people to locate their friends using augmented reality. The app was recently unveiled at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain.
To be reunited with their friends, people simply need to open the app and scan the festival space with their camera lens. Provided all parties have installed the app, the icon for the chosen individual will appear on their screen, helpfully indicating their position within the crowd and their distance from the finder.
Users can send out a signal to let their friends know where they are, in addition to requesting that their friends share their signal. If the user is inactive at the time, they will receive a notification, so they can access their friend’s location when they open the app next.
Intuitive touches of personalisation enhance this core functionality. Users can customise their personal signals (the 3D elements that hover over their location with AR to allow friends to locate 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 bunch of balloons.
Together with SEAT, Wildbytes shaped the concept in collaboration with Google, building the app and software from the ground up. Laia Zanon, director of creative production at Wildbytes Barcelona comments, “SEAT is investing significantly in connecting with the music festival scene, as they are clear lifestyle generators. The goal was to create something awesome for festival-goers that was equally useful and cool.
Augmented reality is a really hot topic today, but what people look for today is a cool implementation of AR that simultaneously has a purpose and solves a problem. This app tries to combine both elements: the cool factor of augmented reality, with a solution to a key problem that festival-goers face: how do you find your friends among thousands of people and have fun along the way?”
Commenting on the process of building the app, Zanon says: “The main challenges we faced were around the UX of the application; the functionality of using augmented reality to locate friends in a physical space is still very new, so we had to figure out how to get people used to it.
Technically, the challenge was to get the best possible geo-location, which is limited by today's GPS accuracy, by combining the smartphone sensors, GPS information and spatial calculations through computer vision. Finally, of course, we also worked on achieving the cool factor in terms of the ‘digital signals’ and icons users can choose to represent themselves.”
Susanne Franz, global marketing director of marketing communication at SEAT comments, "SEAT has a really tight relationship with the world of the music festivals. With this app, we're pushing the limits in terms of what's possible with technologies as cool as geo-location and augmented reality to make the music festival experience even more awesome than it already is. The partnership between SEAT, Google, and Wildbytes has been key to make such an amazing app a reality."
The ‘SEAT Lost&Sound’ app is available in Europe on Apple and Android.