The high level
The Sonic Vision Catch the Blue Blur iPhone app allowed fans to capture Sonic in the real world by locating Augmented Reality markers around the country using built-in maps and GPS.
To catch Sonic, players pointed their phone at a Sonic poster acting as an AR marker, revealing the iconic gold ring on screen. As Sonic sped past, players had to respond quickly to snap a photo of (or capture) him to earn points.
Points contributed to a leaderboard for players to win Sega prizes and all Sonic photos are sharable on Facebook and Twitter.
The (augmented) reality
Markers were distributed at specific locations throughout major cities as part of an outdoor campaign, and further disseminated through print, TV and online advertising. Each marker was worth a differing amount of points based on the reaction time the media required of the player. If players were fast enough to snap Sonic appearing on television, they were rewarded appropriately.
Millipede collaborated closely with the JWT creative team and Sega Australia, to ensure we delivered a robust solution capable of handling a large volume of server traffic. The AR engine and the device rendering capability was pushed to the limit to ensure the Sonic 3D assets could be displayed at the highest resolution without sacrificing performance or frame rates. Gamer rage due to dropped frames and missing Sonic was something we wanted to avoid. The result was an application that carefully balanced device CPU and GPU limitations while showcasing Sonic to the fullest in real world environments.