In April, Motorola announced a multi-year partnership with the San Diego Padres, an agreement that will put the Moto logo on the team’s jerseys starting in 2023 and have Motorola outfit the Padres Hall of Fame with interactive technology displays and product integrations. I am a big fan and season ticket holder of the San Diego Padres, so I have been eagerly awaiting to see how the Motorola and Padres partnership would manifest itself.
The Padres are no strangers to cutting-edge technologies—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 POS transactions by taking them off Wi-Fi (and all its potential for interference).
Before a recent regularly scheduled game earlier this month, I got the chance to experience ‘Play Like A Padre’, part of Motorola’s facelift of the Hall of Fame and the first Snapdragon Spaces AR game ever released to the public. Let’s take a closer look.
The Play Like a Padre AR game runs on four Motorola Edge+ phones; two of which 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 make an excellent pairing both powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, giving people a 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 not surprising that Lenovo chose it to pair with the ThinkReality A3 for this showcase, enabling Snapdragon Spaces. However, Motorola and Lenovo have worked closely to ensure that the ThinkReality A3 is compatible with as many Motorola devices as possible, and the list continues to grow. Motorola is also offering fans a chance to win a brand new Edge+ phone by posting a photo of the AR experience with the hashtag #HelloPadres—a tried and true method of engagement.
Built by Rock Paper Reality using the Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, the game supports up to four simultaneous players within the same game. Surprisingly, my experience was seamless, despite it running on public Wi-Fi at a sold-out, 42,656-seat stadium. Being the highly competitive person I am, when Rock Paper Reality's CTO Preston Platt told me his high score, I immediately went into hypercompetitive mode and tried to beat him. The game was simple—you aimed by moving your head and fired using the phone's touchscreen as a controller. While I bested my friend who attended the game with me that day, I still didn't come close to Preston's high score. Looking back on it now, I couldn't tell you how long the game took because I was so engaged in the AR itself. In my conversation with Platt, he noted how easy it was to develop the experience using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces. He also lauded the platform’s cross-platform nature and how effortless it was to enable a quality cross-device experience for smartphone and AR users.
The greatest thing about the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 headset, in my opinion, is how straightforward it is to put on and take off. It ultimately still looks like a pair of glasses, which I believe could potentially make it less intimidating for newcomers to AR to pick up and try. The location of the experience is also great—fans go to the Hall of Fame to deepen their relationship with the Padres and the Motorola AR game is a novel and effective way to do that. Previously, the Padres had a partnership with HP where kids could participate in a Home Run Derby in VR. This experience eventually made its way into game breaks between innings. Perhaps we’ll eventually see Play Like a Padre do the same thing.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.