Peridot centres on Dots, puppy-like colourful fantasy creatures that live in an AR experience on your phone, combining the location-based gameplay of Pokémon Go with virtual pets like Tamagotchis or Nintendogs.
Players raise their Dots from hatchlings to full adults, petting, feeding and playing with them. This is made possible by camera lens recognition technology that lets the virtual creatures (in reality, the phone’s camera) interact with the physical world around players. In the process, the game nudges people into exploring their surroundings. They can take their Dots on walks, where they’ll discover new toys to play together or forage for food. Different real-world ground conditions like grass or sand will yield different snacks.
In addition to their needs, Dots have daily ‘desires’ their owners can fulfil to make them happy. Missions include heading to nearby points of interest to collect toys or posing next to specific real-world objects (like trees) or pets (like dogs) for photos.
Each Dot has unique physical features, ranging from pink, spotted fur to big horns or bright, birdlike plumage. A social layer capitalises on these unique traits: once Dots become adults, their owners can breed them with virtual pets belonging to friends and others in their local area to grow their pet family. An e-commerce integration of Amazon’s new offering Anywhere (the first such inclusion in a video game) allows users to buy digital dress-up items for their Dots and physical merch for themselves.
AR applications like Niantic’s projects turn the physical world into an interface for personal and shared digital experiences, connect people with their immediate communities and open up the world for hyperlocal brand engagement.