AT&T has introduced Warp Speed Worm, an augmented reality (AR) 5G-based Group Effects version of a classic video game. It was developed with Meta Reality Labs, a unit of the company formerly known as Facebook, and is available on the Messenger and Instagram Apps.

Group Effects is a new real time social AR approach for the two apps. AT&T says it is one of the first brands to create for the Group Effects platform. The underlying Spark AR technology enables effects that are delivered across multiple screens concurrently. Users can collaborate on these effects as if they are in the same place.

The app builds on what AT&T learned from an earlier Group Effects initiative, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

“AT&T and Meta are bringing people closer together by transforming social media from sharing moments to making memories. Our 5G paired with Meta’s AR technology makes your video calls more interactive and engaging for the whole family,” David Christopher, AT&T’s executive vice president and general manager for partnerships and 5G ecosystem development, said in a press release about Warp Speed Worm. “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.” 

Carriers and their ecosystems are rushing to find new uses for burgeoning mobile bandwidth by using the AR capabilities that have emerged during the past few years.

In July, AT&T and Cinemark announced a partnership in which movie theater visitors would be able to have an immersive AR experience with Tune Squad movie cartoon characters. The promotion, which was aimed at the reopening of theaters closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, was timed for the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which features LeBron James.

AT&T of course is not the only carrier providing augmented reality entertainment content. In November, 2020 Verizon and Snap introduced the Landmarker Lens platform with a performance by the Black Pumas at the New York City Public Library.

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