Verizon Announces Interactive AR Game For 5G


By Catherine Sbeglia Nin

Apparently unsatisfied with merely providing the data pipeline for 5G gaming, Verizon is taking a more hands-on approach to game development. The carrier announced that it’s working with digital entertainment company 30 Ninjas and an immersive studio called Novelab on an Augmented Reality (AR) Adventure Thriller. Designed to run on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband — the carrier’s mmWave and C-band network — Helios is a narrative mobile AR adventure that uses volumetric video, or modern 3D holograms, filled with thrilling elements like “a missing sister, a coverup, a hacktivist who has double crossed the wrong bad guy and a young woman.”

“Verizon and 30 Ninjas’ 5G content collaboration blends industry-leading storytelling with next-gen technology,” said chief content officer at Verizon, Erin McPherson. “We’re thrilled to work together to create a captivating interactive thriller that showcases the evolution of mobile entertainment and the capabilities that we can unlock in our smartphones on Verizon’s 5G network.”

On several occasions, gaming has been called the killer use case for 5G. By improving data capacity, 5G can significantly improve the download speeds of games, and it also enables game developers to do more with graphics and interactive design by delivering faster connectivity. Gamers can even carry these massive game files on a device that fits in their pocket, playing them whenever they have a 5G connection. Further, the lower latency associated with 5G will result in an overall better gaming experience, particularly for AR and VR games.

Co-founder and partner of 30 Ninjas, Doug Liman said that the project with Verizon is “precisely” why he and his partner started the company in the first place. “We’re drawing on everything we know about making great entertainment and applying it to an entirely new medium. One with that you carry with you everywhere. Given the chance to build new worlds on the most powerful phones, untethered from home internet: The Mobile Metaverse has limitless potential,” he said.

For Verizon, this dedication to gaming, according to the company’s Director of its 5G labs and innovation centers, is the result of the “progression of the 5G ecosystem overall.”

“When we started the 5G labs and started bringing in independent game developers or building our own games with 5G, no one was ready for it yet,” he previously told RCR Wireless News. “For us, it’s building capability and new opportunity early and bringing that intentionally to the full gaming ecosystem and making sure out end users can take advantage those new experiences.”

Considered by Verizon and 30 Ninjas to be a glimpse into the metaverse future, Helios will require players to “move around an augmented version of their personal physical space” and interact virtually with lifelike 3D AR characters to help them complete the game’s narrative and solve the mystery.

Verizon said that Helios will launch for Android and iOS 5G-capable smartphones this fall.

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