We created the world's first visitor experience that combines augmented reality with chatbot functionality in a physical environment. This takes the form of an AR expert guide who helps connect SEA LIFE visitors, particularly families with kids of 4-10 years old, to the London Aquarium's sea creatures, increasing the entertainment and educational values of the experience.
An animated CGI character, Roxy, is presented in AR space through a native mobile app. She communicates with the visitors through a chat interface, and sets them challenges around the sea creatures involving counting, measuring and observing. The kids are rewarded with ranger cards that they collect and are encouraged to quiz their grown-ups at the end of each section. The native mobile app was developed in Unity, and features a bespoke, unique 2Dto3D chat interface, that enables us to create conversation between users and the AR character. We also pioneered new UX techniques to deal with the spatial freedom that mobile-led AR experiences facilitate. These new techniques include combining conversation elements, physical markers and on-screen UI cues to guide visitors through the aquarium.
SEA LIFE's brief was to support 'Amazing Discovery', which breaks down into 'fun', 'interactive', 'learning', and the results from qualitative independent research trials demonstrated a strong uplift across all three metrics. The key empirical indicator of this is dwell time, which we had been tasked to increase by 10% - the research trials demonstrated an actual increase of 25%, an amazing result that delighted the SEA LIFE team. The trials also reported that children and parents are excited and impressed by the app, with feedback centred around 4 key themes:
- Something they haven't experienced in an attraction before
- Portrays SEA LIFE as modern and innovative, offering better value for money
- A fun and entertaining experience for kids and the whole family
- Interactive and educational with heightened engagement for the kids; they slow down and enjoy the experience rather than rushing through