By Malcolm Owen
Thursday, October 12, 2017, 11:06 am PT (02:06 pm ET)
Development studio Niantic are encouraging players of the popular mobile game ‘Pokemon Go’ to head outside with their iPhones this fall, by holding a photography competition where the best AR photos from the game posted to Instagram can win prizes, including the Pokemon Go Plus accessory.
Announced via Twitter and a blog post , the competition requires players to take a photograph within the ‘Pokemon Go’ app, using its augmented reality (AR) camera feature to display Pokemon on the real-world background. Competitors then must post their photographs to Instagram using the tag #PokemonGOcontest before its closing date on October 25.
The top ten submissions will receive a prize package that consists of a poster autographed by the development team, a pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and thePokemon Go Plus accessory. This device is a wearable Bluetooth button resembling the in-game Poke Balls, which can be used to alert the players of nearby PokeStop items and collectable Pokemon, which can be captured by a button press without needing to access the app directly.
According to the rules, the competition is open to residents of countries where the ‘Pokemon Go’ app has been officially released as of October 11, with some exceptions. The rules also advise that submitted photographs will be disqualified if they feature an identifiable individual in the shot, among other restrictions concerning appropriate content and originality.
Entries will be judged over three criteria: the originality of the image, the creativity, and “visual fun.” Winners will be notified on or after October 25 via an Instagram direct message.
The AR photography competition arrives at a time when AR has received a lot of attention, generated by Apple’s inclusion of ARKit in iOS 11. Developers have beenquick to adopt the framework within their apps, with Apple also urging developers touse and promote the technology, to capitalize on the increased focus on smartphone-based AR.