The Arcade team was out in force at Digital Catapult last week, showcasing Bazaar at the culmination of Niantic's wonderful Futurescope programme to over a hundred representatives from across the UK tech and innovation sectors.
Having been selected to partner with Niantic on the 'Revitalising the High Street' challenge, we had spent the past few months furiously innovating, putting the new Lightship ARDK to work in the creation of a new type of experience designed to give shoppers a new reason to return to local bricks-and-mortar retail environments.
The result was a prototype that we were very proud to show off to the assembled audience. The film below was played on stage, in which Arcade Co-Founders Jon Meggitt and Alex Book introduced the Bazaar concept and explained its potential impact.
Jon was joined on stage by Client Services Director Livvy Hinkin, who introduced Bazaar's imagined storyworld in which there is more to High Streets than meets the eye.In our game, they are special, important places, connected by an ancient magical network. But the magic has started to seep out into the world, and it is up to us to find and return the 'drops' to the shops that need their power. Find enough, and reunite them with the shops they came from, and the owners will show their gratitude in the form of free goods, discounts and other rewards.
Positive Early Signs
As part of the demonstrator we ran a test week, in which we set up controlled Bazaar testbeds across three high streets, including the recruitment of ten testers and three real world 'drop shops' in each location, tasked with putting Bazaar through its paces.Livvy also took the audiences through the headlines from our research. The feedback was very encouraging, with hundreds of drops collected including the limited edition 'timed' drops that had testers racing to get there first. Interest in the full version, should it be developed and launched, was universal. But the most important metric was undoubtedly the impact it could have on people's propensity to increase engagement with their local high streets, with 91% of testers reporting that they would be more likely to visit as a result of Bazaar.You can read more about Bazaar in Digital Catapult's comprehensive pos there.
A Fabulous Experience
But whatever the future holds for Bazaar, our involvement in the Niantic Futurescope programme was one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences we have had to date.The chance to partner with Niantic, the shining light at the forefront of the 'real world metaverse' (to use the phrase they coined), was everything we hoped it would be and we cannot thank them enough for their support, encouragement and enthusiasm at every step of the journey.One of our biggest learnings is that Niantic, through the Lightship platform, is set to drive the mass scale integration of AR into our everyday lives. We at Arcade are committed to being a part of that journey, and we cannot wait to where it takes us.