In April, Motorola announced a multi-year partnership with the San Diego Padres, a deal that will put the Moto logo on the team’s jerseys starting in 2023 and will allow Motorola to equip the Padres Hall of Fame with interactive technology and product integrations. I’m a big fan and season ticket holder of the San Diego Padres, so I was looking forward to seeing how the Motorola and Padres partnership would play out.
The Padres are no strangers to cutting-edge technology – they have a long-standing technology partnership with Qualcomm and also recently partnered with Boingo to deploy a private 5G network in Gallagher Square to improve mobile point-of-sale transactions in removing them from Wi-Fi (and all its potential for interference).
Ahead of a recent regularly scheduled game earlier this month, I was lucky enough to check out “Play Like A Padre,” part of Motorola’s Hall of Fame facelift and the first Snapdragon Spaces AR game ever released to the public. Let’s take a closer look.
Play Like a Padre AR game runs on four Motorola Edge+ phones; two of them run the AR game on screen, while the other two run it in AR using the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 headset. The Moto Edge+ and ThinkReality A3 are a great pair powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, giving people the chance to try out an AR headset while elevating the Moto brand. Those who still want to participate without a headset can use the touchscreen experience. The Moto Edge+ is Motorola’s flagship device, so it’s no surprise Lenovo chose it to pair with the ThinkReality A3 for this showcase, enabling Snapdragon Spaces. However, Motorola and Lenovo have worked closely together to ensure the ThinkReality A3 is compatible with as many Motorola devices as possible, and the list continues to grow. Motorola is also giving fans a chance to win a brand new Edge+ phone by posting a photo of the AR experience with the hashtag #HelloPadres, a proven method of engagement.
Built by Rock Paper Reality using the Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces XR development platform, the game supports up to four simultaneous players in the same game. Surprisingly, my experience was smooth, despite the fact that it was running on public Wi-Fi in a sold-out 42,656-seat stadium. Being the highly competitive person that I am, when Rock Paper Reality Technical Director Preston Platt announced his high score to me, I immediately went into hypercompetitive mode and tried to beat him. The game was simple: you aimed by moving your head and shooting using the phone’s touchscreen as a controller. While I beat my friend who attended the game with me that day, I still haven’t reached Preston’s best score. Looking back now, I couldn’t tell you how long the game took because I was so committed to the AR itself. In my conversation with Platt, he noted how easy it was to expand the experience using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon spaces. He also praised the cross-platform nature of the platform and the ease with which it was possible to enable a quality cross-device experience for smartphone and augmented reality users.
The best thing about the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 headset, in my opinion, is how easy it is to put on and take off. Ultimately, it still looks like a pair of goggles, which I think could potentially make it less intimidating for AR newcomers to pick up and try. The location of the experience is also great – fans come to the Hall of Fame to deepen their relationship with the Padres and the Motorola AR game is a new and effective way to do that. Previously, the Padres had a partnership with HP where kids could compete in a VR Home Run Derby. This experience eventually worked its way into the breaks between sets. Maybe we’ll eventually see Play Like a Padre do the same.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.
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