For many people, a trip to the local Christmas market is a treasured tradition, but parents will be only too aware that is can be difficult to keep children occupied when out searching for the perfect gift, especially as excitement for the holiday builds. Developer Lindow Labs is offering a solution in the for of an augmented reality (AR) app.
In Plymouth, the annual Christmas Market has been enhanced with the addition of AR. Children can use the Christmas Joy app developed by Lindow Labs to search the market to discover the secret Santa’s toy shops, and then set out on a treasure hunt to help out Santa in his busy time during the run-up to Christmas. Users of the app can also unlock various decorations, filters and stickers to allow them to create their own perfect holiday AR environment. Users can even share their AR environments through social media, perhaps to let friends and relatives who are far away share in the family Christmas spirit.
The Christmas Joy app is available on both iOS and Android, and uses GPS location data to map out the market and the various hidden locations that are available to discover, using technology similar to that employed by Niantic Labs in both Pokemon Go and Ingress.
Lindow Labs have previously worked in AR with an app called Bellerophon, which was created to use Ar technology to help relieve symptoms of anxiety and overcome certain fears and phobias. The app lets users be transported to a scene that can help promote calm, such as a soothing beach front with lapping waves. Another function of the app is the digital companion, where the AR function can be tagged on to an accessory such as a toy, providing a sort of virtual pet, which can distract users from their own worries by providing another creature to care for.