In January 2022 we got a patent on combining Augmented Reality with a theme park and playing a game using cellphones.
The twist is that the game is largely played outside the theme park. It can be a scavenger hunt, where players search a public area for clues and prizes. A prize might be a digital certificate for, say, a teddy bear. The prize might be in the form of a QR code. The lucky winner, Jill, uses her phone to trade her prize with a person, Tim, in the theme park. He then walks to a prize machine in the theme park. It scans his certificate and ejects a new teddy bear, undoubtedly branded with the park’s logo. (Think Disneyland or Universal Studios.)
What does Jill get? It depends on her association with Tim. Maybe they are both in a joint game, played in the theme park and outside. So the teddy bear in his grubby paws might be used by him to search in the theme park. Or when she sent her certificate to Tim, he paid her. In real money or in some synthetic currency.
If Jill and Tim use a common app written for this purpose, the app can verify to Tim that Jill has a valid prize.
A big idea is to let the theme park increase its mindshare in people outside the park. One big problem with theme parks like Disneyland Anaheim is their sheer cost. The physical infrastructure and the land itself can mean $1 billion to start a theme park. Now imagine you are Jill playing a scavenger hunt in a public area of Calgary Canada or Harbin China. You cannot easily afford to visit Disneyland Anaheim. But in your local hunt, you might find digital treasures branded with Disney. Some might be traded or sold to visitors in Disneyland.
The patent extends an earlier patent for AR + theme park + esports. It was for people outside theme parks to interact with players in them. Players could send prizes to team members in other parks. The patents expand the boundaries of gaming in a theme park. We suggest that current games for the theme park are simply too narrow. Ours grow the pot of users who engage with the park.
Both patents combine a massive global network for cellphones with theme parks. Parks have shown limited initiative in using phones. Largely uses were confined to writing game apps around the IP already used by the parks…