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E2i Debuts Augmented Reality Game at Otronicon 2016
January 5, 2016

E2i Creative Studio at the University of Central Florida is excited to be debuting the Orlando Science Center’s Otronicon event app for Otronicon 2016. The app will help visitors see what is going on during the event.

The app includes:
Schedules
Exhibitors
Maps
Sponsors
Deep Sea Discovery (What’s this?! Keep reading…)

In addition to basic information, the application utilizes iBeacons planted all over the Science Center to evaluate visitor patterns in the building. How does this help the visitors? The main objective of a common type of visitor evaluation done in museums is timing and tracking in a physical space. That allows the science center to understand what the visitors are actually attending or checking out during their visits. If many more people are visiting one exhibit than another, the science center may consider replacing an exhibit with something more popular, or even expanding something that visitors consider super exciting. Science centers and museums all over the globe already manually complete timing and tracking, and using a location based app automates and expedites the process, saving time and money.

So what’s an iBeacon? An iBeacon is a general term for a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) device. They commonly are small devices, about one to two inches in diameter, and when they come into the general area of a user’s phone or Bluetooth-enabled device (assuming the user has given the app permission to use iBeacons), they will give the phone a notification. This looks like a basic notification on someone’s phone, that may be tailored to the specific app. E2i and the Orlando Science Center decided to use RadBeacons by Radius Networks throughout the Orlando Science Center due to their size and the ability to replace the batteries.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how an iBeacon works, we can go into how E2i came up with Deep Sea Discovery, a location based exploration and sea creature collection game. For those visitors who have played Pokemon or Yo-Kai Watch, they may see some familiarity in the gameplay of Deep Sea Discovery. Deep Sea Discovery is an augmented reality game based on physical exploration, meaning the players need to explore the physical space of the Orlando Science Center in order to collect creatures. Players can earn badges for collecting creatures and exploring the Orlando Science Center throughout the Otronicon event. Have fun visiting Otronicon, and see how many creatures you can collect!

Download the game for Android HERE.