PairPlay augments reality through sound stories
Future. An app called PairPlay is turning imaginary games into reality through audio-powered role-playing. In the same way AR glasses layer a new visual plane onto our own, PairPlay hopes to do the same without the screen. Will we finally stop staring at our phones and start interacting again? Possibly… though it’ll still technically be through technology.
PairPlay is crafting imaginary role-playing games.
- Developed by Jonathan Wegener, the app allows two people to participate in an audio-based scene via their Airpods.
- Each player is given a role to play and a separate set of instructions on what to do or accomplish.
- For example, participants could play as two survivors of a zombie apocalypse who are trying to determine if the other player is infected.
- The app has already raised financing from the founders of companies like YouTube, Venmo, Oculus, and EventBrite.
PairPlay is currently free to download, and so is all of its content, but that could go behind a paywall soon enough.
Hear a new world
PairPlay’s functionality is meant to expand a user’s reality in the same way that AR lenses are “building layers or ‘lenses’ for phone screens and smart glasses.”
Wegener explains that “we basically consider this screen-free AR. It’s a much more compelling experience than holding a screen in front of your eyes and pretending there’s a monster on your floor. We want to work within that constraint of, ‘OK, put your phone away and play with your partner and use your imagination.’”
For Wegener, a former designer for Snap, role-playing games are just the beginning. He sees PairPlay expanding into business development or human-resource related training, potentially leveraging the tech to administer anti-bullying or sexual harassment training.