Meet “Warp Speed Worm”
During a video call on Messenger or Instagram, open the effects menu by tapping the smiley face icon and find Warp Speed Worm in the Group Effects. Nod your head to begin the game and move your head to steer the AR worm.
You’ll have to steer the worm into and through some onscreen effects while avoiding others. It’s “an updated twist on a classic game.”
In the words of AT&T Partnerships and 5G Ecosystem Development Executive VP and general manager David Christopher, “AT&T and Meta are bringing people closer together by transforming social media from sharing moments to making memories.”
I Guess That’s Neat…
Goofy, fun AR stuff comes out all the time. Why is this seemingly simple AR game getting an article? There are a couple of reasons.
It’s a Multiplayer AR Game
Depending on your device and connection, multi-person video calling can be a nightmare. Depending on your device and connection, AR effects can be a nightmare. But, think about Warp Speed Worm again: it’s a mutli-person AR game within a video calling app. How many multi-person synchronous AR games are there out there? Not many.
AT&T 5G created this game, in large part, to show off their connection speeds. And it works. But, it’s also sort of inspirational. Back in August of 2020 ARPost wrote that most current applications don’t really require 5G but that AR projects of the future might benefit from it. While enterprise AR already has been using 5G, this is an early consumer application. That’s exciting.
Because 5G comes from the towers erected by service providers, we get to pay pretty close attention to how different service providers play with 5G.
Deutsche Telekom (including the US subsidiary T-Mobile) have been pretty involved in working with actual chip processors. Verizon largely skipped this step by partnering with Nreal to put out the only consumer AR headset on the US market. This alone isn’t much of a hand from AT&T, but it’s an ante on the table.
“AT&T 5G is designed to support multi-player, rich experiences like Warp Speed Worm that will take your group chats beyond the chat and to another level,” Christopher said in a release.
A strong AR play from Meta is exciting. Everyone (including us at ARPost) has been talking about Meta like it’s just Facebook and Oculus but that’s not the case. Meta also owns these two social media networks that both have mobile AR options that have been largely neglected as people watch the rush on Quest. This seemingly simple AR game is a reminder.
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There’s more than that, this is Meta working with another company. Meta is famed for its walled garden metaverse experiences and, while this experience is only available on Meta-owned platforms, it still comes from a partnership with a company that Meta isn’t going to just acquire later on. (Meta’s not going to acquire AT&T. They’re not. Right?)
Finally, we have to keep in mind that while Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that consumer-ready AR headsets are still a few years away, Meta is working on them. Who knows, when Meta is ready to start rolling out those consumer AR glasses, maybe they go through AT&T like Nreal is coming in through Verizon.
A multiplayer 5G AR game is here. That’s really cool. Even if you aren’t blown away by this particular game, look at it as the Pong of multiplayer AR. This is happening.