Londoners and tourists alike will soon be able to experience the capital in a whole new way thanks to a collaboration between leading sightseeing company, Golden Tours and award-winning experience designers, Holovis.

Together, the two companies have created London’s first ever city-wide, augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt game.

The Hop-on Hop-off Treasure Hunt app adds a new dimension to the traditional open top bus tour. The smartphone experience turns passengers into treasure hunters as they search for the missing Crown Jewels. The intuitive app uses the latest AR technology to bring London’s most iconic landmarks to life.

Launching November 1st, the adventure begins the moment passengers board the bus. They are given a paper map to scan using the Golden Tours app interface. The app shows the route they have boarded with a virtual bus travelling along it. Thanks to the magic of augmented reality, key sites appear to jump out in 3D.

The explorer has to complete a series of London trivia questions with bonus opportunities and visit London’s historical landmarks. Only then can they save Her Majesty’s Crown Jewels, collect rewards and unlock a top secret finale experience.

Adding a new dimension to the Golden Tours offering

There are also plenty of photo opportunities en route. Passengers can make use of the app’s one-click capability to share favourite images on social media.

“The app is incredibly intuitive so knows where you are and at exactly the right moment brings up facts or starts asking you questions about the location of interest,” says Peter Cliff, Creative Director of Holovis.

“People will really need to engage with the location in order to find the answers, encouraging everyone to delve in and learn more about the incredible history of London.”

The app uses location settings and an established geofence to locate the explorer’s position. It uses this intelligence to deliver information on local points of interest designed to complement the on-board audio guide.

“The Hop-on Hop-off Treasure Hunt app is a great way to expand our offering on our open top buses and enhance the customer experience beyond your standard bus tour,” adds Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours.

“The great use of gamification bringing London to life for customers of all ages matched with the fact-finding mission is perfect for everyone – whether they’re a visitor to London or local.”

The Hop-on Hop-off Treasure Hunt app can be downloaded from both the Google Play Store and the App Store.