This new travel app uses AR to keep kids entertained on layovers

kids travel app at heathrow around the world with mr  adventure launches
Heathrow

Augmented reality can do a number of different things, from turning selfies into animals to creating virtual scavenger hunts, but now one more feature can be chalked up to the emerging tech — entertaining kids on an airport layover. On July 14, London’s Heathrow Airport announced the new kids’ travel app, Around the World with Mr. Adventure, a kid-friendly game that hides digital badges throughout the terminals.

In the game, players use any iOS or Android device’s camera to explore the airport, discovering hidden digital badges. When users discover a badge, the app plays a 3D animated video. Kids (or kids at heart) can then take a photo with a digital character based on the Mr. Adventure series, including Mr. Adventure himself and Little Miss Explorer.

Five badges are hidden around the terminals — when kids find all five badges, they can trade the digital badges for the real thing with iron-on badges available from information desks. The app, the airport says, is designed to keep kids entertained while waiting for flights.

“As summer sees a greater number of families visit Heathrow, we want to ensure they receive the best possible start to their holiday adventures,” said Iona Harper, Heathrow’s senior experience manager. “The Mr. Adventure app is a great, fun experience for Heathrow’s tiniest travelers, encouraging discovery for the next generation of explorers.”

Through the peak of travel season, costumed characters Mr. Adventure and Little Miss Explorer will also add to the experience, helping kids find the badges with appearances until September 10. The airport also has kids’ activities and workshops planned for the busy travel season, along with continuing to offer perks like free play areas and Kids Eat Free menus.

The Mr. Adventure characters are based on the Mr. Men Little Miss series, a storyline that launched over 45 years ago with a popular TV show added in the 1990s. Today, the story includes over 90 characters and has sold over 250 million books.

Heathrow expects 365,000 passengers will be traveling with children during just the summer travel season alone. Friday, July 21 is slated to be the airport’s busiest day of the season with over 130,000 passengers expected to travel through Heathrow.

The Around the World With Mr. Adventure app is available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play.