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How Brands Like Niantic Are Focusing On Wellness Through Immersive Experiences

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The pandemic has left billions of people dealing with unprecedented levels of burnout and social isolation. In 2020, just anxiety and depression A staggering 25% increase World wide. As people found themselves sheltering in their homes and trying to get through the lockdown, many turned to immersive experiences such as games to socialize and reduce stress.time spent in the game Double-digit growth in all regions of the worldand millions of gamers report seeing positive effects on their mental health.

By creating experiences that foster community and social interaction, brands can literally support wellness through gamification. Some brands are using immersive experiences like Pinterest to spread mental health awareness. Recent mood room installationsor encourage people with Land Rover UK’s digital billboard campaign spend more time outside.

Industry-leading AR game developer Niantic and others are supporting healthy habits more directly. Known for titles like Ingress, 2016 blockbuster Pokémon GO, Pikmin Bloom, and upcoming adventure pet game Peridot, Niantic is on a mission to promote mental and physical activity.

“For John [Hanke] The entire Niantic leadership team thought that bringing people together around the world could promote health and well-being. That’s why we’re using technology to make meeting other people a little more engaging,” said Erin Schaefer, Vice President of Revenue and Global Operations at Niantic.

Pokémon GO saw a huge spike in players and player spending from 2020 to 2021. Measures to avoid crowds This makes gaming with other users safer. The game’s continued popularity prompted recent health research to find location-based games that emphasize mentally healthy habits such as in-person socializing, exercise, and exposure to nature. Can relieve short-term depression.

Niantic has also pledged to study the impact of location-based games more closely, partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology in late 2020. Advancing ongoing research.

This year, Niantic aims to connect even more people, both externally and online. March kicked off a series of Community His Days where family, friends, and strangers gather at designated locations around the world to socialize, participate in special gaming events, and earn bonus his items. . We also plan to launch Campfire, a new in-game social feature this summer. It allows players to connect with other players and discover and participate in communities and real-world events.

Beyond players’ in-game and game-related experiences, Niantic is opening up a whole new world of possibilities for brands and developers everywhere. In late 2021, the company will launch its own game Public release of AR experience development platform, Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK).

Brands interested in creating wellness campaigns or promoting mental health now have the tools to create their own AR experiences, either by partnering with Niantic or by developing them in-house.

“If we put this technology in the hands of creators who can think of ways to bring people into the real world and explore it together, whether it’s a game or not, it’s going to be better,” Schaefer said. I’m here.

“We’re really excited to further the well-being of the world in general and want to free all these innovative developers to do the same and hopefully inspire them about what’s possible. What are the most amazing, exciting, fun, amazing and beloved AR experiences you can build?”

The ARDK, which powers Pokémon GO, has supported dozens of exciting new AR projects over the past eight months. Some of them move a little closer to Niantic’s global wellbeing mission.

Tripis a digital wellness platform that specializes in augmented reality (XR) meditation and has partnered with Niantic to build an AR experience that allows users to complete self-care tasks and plant their own virtual garden of silence.

“What’s unique about this partnership with Niantic’s ARDK is that we can support multiplayer experiences that foster human interaction within the context of a community based on our tenets of connectivity and mindfulness.” , TRIPP Chief Technology Officer Jason Asbahr recently released a press release.

Niantic aims to promote healthy living and wellness by developing immersive experiences that people can explore together and promoting improved mental health through technology. For Schaefer, Niantic’s aim is to keep players healthy and active hitting, especially close to home.

“It’s great to support a company that takes people outside,” she said. “Playing these games with our kids and seeing them actually go out and have fun in the real world, not just on their bedroom screen, is what we’re trying to do. promise becomes really clear.”