Challenge

The upcoming adoption of 5G and Edge Computing marks a milestone in what's possible to achieve with mobile devices. Higher bandwidth and lower latency bring a future where some long-awaited use cases are finally available. Industry 4.0 can live up to expectations, with IoT sensors, cameras, and robots working together to achieve time-sensitive goals. On the consumer side, it will be finally possible to stream high-quality content to mobile devices in real-time and reduce the difference in multiplayer gaming quality between mobile and fixed connections.

But how to show the benefit to consumers? That's a problem that a lot of telecom companies struggled with, as showing differences in numbers between benchmarks isn't enough to get most people excited about what's coming up.

We took the challenge of building a product that shows new possibilities and gains people's attention. What would we get if we combined the centuries old Tic Tac Toe game concept with Mixed Reality and visualize it in 3D?

Solution

Well Known Game Mechanics Brought to Augmented Reality

‘XO’ is a real-time multiplayer Mixed Reality game that takes the principles of Tic Tac Toe to the next level.

The game starts by using a smart phone or AR-glasses to place a virtual anchor object in the same physical space as where both players are. In turns each player then, starting from the anchor object, places their X’s or O’s until they have 5 in a row to win the game. Each player can create 5-in-a-row vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

Engaging Gameplay

Each game can in theory be played without end, but with each new X or O, the game-play becomes more complex. Players can decide where to place their X or O by physically interacting with the virtual game. This is made possible by anchoring the game in physical space.

The more the player interacts physically by placing their objects on the other side or downwards to the ground or upwards to the sky, the bigger the chance they have of winning the game.

The competitive aspect of the game also plays an important role here. Unlike traditional video games, 'XO' involves competition in physical space, which makes it perfect for conference booths at promotional events.

Multiple Formats

To bring the full potential out of the game, we also moved forward and created a variant of the game for Augmented Reality glasses.

By replacing touch with gestures, we created a product that helps first-time users understand how AR glasses work and get comfortable with using them, just like Angry Birds taught us how to use swipe on smartphones.

Team Composition

  • UX Researcher
  • Designer
  • Augmented Reality Software Developer
  • Backend Developer
  • DevOps for Edge Computing

Outcome

XO has been used to showcase 5G and Edge Computing by multiple telecom companies at various events. Due to its simple mechanics, it quickly captures the attention and imagination of attendees. The competitive nature of the game provides entertainment for both families attending consumer-oriented trade fairs as well as during internal corporate events.

We came on each others path at a large Hackathon in Krakow last September. In only 24 hours the Upside team pulled together a very cool immersive AR tic-tac-toe game experience enabled through MobiledgeX' edge computing platform. Since then we are developing a great partnership at lightning speed, teaming up on several events and projects. The team is very capable and working 24/7 with ultra low latency, just very pleasant to work with. If you are looking for a capable partner to develop innovative, mobility oriented applications, check them out!

~ Jesse Blij, Business Development Manager @ MobiledgeX

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Upside Lab sp. z o.o.

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Długa 74/4

31-147 Kraków

Poland

Rheinsberger Str. 76/77

10115 Berlin

Germany

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