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Adventurous utilises augmented reality and live actors to create family scavenger hunt experiences

Adventurous is a scavenger hunt game based in augmented reality targeted towards families. In addition to VR, it also incorporates various real-world experiences to offer a vigorous experience. This augmented reality application is quite different from several other apps available now. It demands users to be at designated physical locations and make appointments. The experience also involves live actors. 

Adventurous is an unusual company in the latest startup batch of Y Combinator, and a live technology-powered theatre. The co-founders of the company admit that aspects such as live actors and appointments within their application are not the most extendable business approach. However, the co-founders are enthusiastic that they will find out more opportunities for expansion in the future. Children and families are the groups that have shown great involvement in the experience.

All families look for things to do with their children, stressing that all screen time is not quality. – Jeany Ngo, the co-founder of Adventurous

Adventurous co-founders Jeany Ngo and Brian Schulman

Families or groups have to meet at a specific location at a specific time upon booking an adventure. The actors who are adorned in their distinct character getups, speak about the mission objectives and narrate the story. Participants are then asked to walk to different locations, to gain access to various pop-up type geotagged encounters. Participants have to use their ARCore-supported phone or ARKit to enjoy their experiences. Tasks assigned to the participants have to be completed before they can leave the designated locations.

The experiences being offered by Adventurous mostly last for durations between 45 minutes to an hour. Each person that participates in one of the experiences has to pay $15.

Augmented reality as an immersive technology platform has endeared itself to many, due to its ability to estimate the geometry of a location and drop content that is suitable for a given space. This type of experience is characteristic of something offered by Google AR Stickers. However, when considering real storylines, it is not possible for computer vision to accurately analyse dynamic environments in case of experiences and games.

Adventurous has been testing out many locations to find ideal settings for their AR escapades. Currently, the company offers two missions across San Francisco, at the Golden Gate Park and in Chinatown. There might be some confusion and legal tangles may arise with associating the AR experiences to physical places. However, the co-founders have revealed that there have been no legal issues to date.

The company hopes to utilise the rich and engaging experience offered by Adventurous as a tool to bring in more fans and keep them returning. The co-founders have a vision of creating a world interwoven with various narratives that seem like TV episodes, to raise curiosity regarding the progression of the story.

The VR industry has seen many ups and downs related to location-centric entertainment, despite some startup businesses have seen success. This latest development from Adventurous might be a step in the right direction.

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