With the help of LiDAR technology, Pierina Merino heralds a new generation of social networks with FlickPlay
from Adam | October 28, 2020
For the past two years, Pierina Merino, founder and CEO of FlickPlay, a unique platform that aims to combine augmented reality (AR), gaming and social media into a single, engaging offering, has been in stealth mode …
Well, quietly but confidently, the company has built the consumer platform that will fuel the future of spatial AR and communal gaming – while ushering in a new generation of social media.
The support of LiDAR technology in Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro camera not only allows for a seamless overlay of the real world with ARDAR technology, but it also helps FlickPlay accelerate their plans for building a new creative canvas for social networking and storytelling global level.
Different sources of inspiration
For Merino, the ingredients for FlickPlay were already available on other platforms.
“Pokémon Go gave the world an interactive game that is changing the way we interact with our cities. TikTok showed us how powerful a great distribution engine is for creating content virality. Snap has developed innovative solutions that encourage our natural, creative instinct to communicate with friends, ”explains Merino. "With FlickPlay, we want to combine all of these elements to create a unique social media space full of competition and interaction."
This is clearly a solid foundation for Merino's vision to build on. Pokémon Go may no longer be the viral sensation it was when it launched in 2016, but the game recently posted $ 3.6 billion in lifetime sales. Analysts assume that 2020 will be the best-selling year to date.
Despite privacy concerns, TikTok has accumulated over 800 million users worldwide, 41 percent of whom are between 16 and 24 years old. Similarly, Snap sees high usage among younger populations.
"While each of these platforms is very different from one another, all three have loosely embraced augmented reality to some extent," Merino notes.
“AR offers more than a fun way of communicating. This is how current social media platforms use the technology. It gives us the opportunity to improve the experiences we already have every day with physical spaces in our cities. The amalgamation of gaming and social media is already present in the technology and consumer ecosystem. The next big social media platform is going to be a game, directly or indirectly. "
Using AR and games to create new experiences
FlickPlay's card game creates the link between the location for an AR experience and the actual game. Users create and interact with video content within the platform and compete with community members through video challenges for leaderboard status, rewards, and exclusive access. The platform also rewards brand interactions.
Although FlickPlay encourages users to look for physical locations with "social relevance" in their city, users can also unlock experiences through the in-app game, which they can access from anywhere, to create additional incentives for users to stay active while creating video.
“We wanted to attract users to a content game in their own city where they could gain relevance through different AR experiences,” explains Merino. “We see this as a '3D era' of social media. We go beyond text and images – beyond images and videos. By combining immersive video with gaming tools, we can unlock a whole new creative canvas for users to interact with. "
The focus on AR is understandably important for Merino and her team. The Mindshare Layered Report shows that AR achieves a 45 percent higher level of awareness than surfing on TV or online. AR experiences are seen as highly desirable by users, both for hands-on activities like exercise or interior design, and for creating fun social experiences.
"By focusing on AR, we can move away from the 'selfie mode' that dominates platforms like Instagram and instead focus on users' physical space and relevant locations," says Merino.
“The combination with the game mechanics makes creating and consuming content more exciting. The flexibility with which some can only produce creative videos outside of the game dynamics allows us to create a platform for developers to tell great stories with their favorite locations. "
As part of the gamification strategy, the social platform will use brand partnerships, influencers and celebrities to generate new experiences when FlickPlay is introduced. "Our partners can create their ideal worlds in FlickPlay," says Pierina.
With a combination of in-game rewards and real-world incentives, the platform takes the blended reality model even further. The end result is a combination between the digital and the physical world before, during and after user interaction with the participating brands and with each other.
A more creative future
As Merino and the FlickPlay app show, there is still a lot of room for innovation in social media. As augmented reality becomes more common and more brands and consumers engage in this highly engaging form of media, expect more social platforms to follow suit.
"I believe that AR experiences will be even more widespread in the future and in ways that we cannot currently imagine," says Merino. "Just like the early adopters of other social media platforms, the brands that innovate and reach customers in the space first will have a huge advantage in reaching a young, tech-savvy audience."
In fact, some analysts expect AR marketing spending to hit $ 2.6 billion by 2022. As AR and virtual reality become increasingly popular, brands that gain a foothold early in this area are facing significant growth.