The Chatter

Balti Virtual Partners with Washington Capitals for New Augmented Reality Game

Just in time for the playoffs, the Baltimore company designed augmented reality game Tilt The Ice.

By Evan Greenberg | April 10, 2019, 12:19 pm

-Balti Virtual
The Chatter

Balti Virtual Partners with Washington Capitals for New Augmented Reality Game

Just in time for the playoffs, the Baltimore company designed augmented reality game Tilt The Ice.

By Evan Greenberg | April 10, 2019, 12:19 pm

-Balti Virtual

Will Gee has fond memories of going to Baltimore Skipjacks hockey games growing up in the city. But it’s been more than two decades since the team hung up its skates, and Baltimore’s hockey allegiances have, more or less, shifted to the Washington Capitals. As the franchise begins its playoff run, it will do so with a Baltimore connection.

At a recent meeting with the Capitals, Balti Virtual, a local augmented reality company of which Gee is the CEO, presented some recent work. It’s there that Tilt The Ice, an augmented reality game based off a different demo Balti Virtual designed for developer’s conference Beta City, was born.

This past week, a few thousand drink coasters were passed around Washington, D.C. bars and restaurants. Users can download Balti Virtual’s free app, AppAR8, and scan these coasters to spring a three-dimensional game to life. The object is simple: you’re the goalie, and your job is to stop as many pucks as possible before the game ends. The goalie’s movements correspond with how players tilt the coaster.

“It’s been a big hit so far,” Gee says. “We’ve been doing a lot in marketing and entertainment, so a lot of what we do grows out of the video game industry and video game technology. [The Capitals] liked the fact that we could build something really quickly with them.”

-Balti Virtual

The game doesn’t involve a lot of fuss—there’s no email required to play and you can enter whatever you want for your name. It’s also one of the first times that Balti Virtual has created a global leaderboard where top scores can be marked for posterity. Players are encouraged to screenshot and share their scores on social media. The top player scores are eligible for prizes.

This type of technology and games like it represent a flashpoint for interactivity and, as Gee notes, different ways to pull in people’s attention. As a technology, augmented reality is recognizable but still has a bit of grandfathering to do before it reaches mainstream ubiquity. Gee says that major tech companies are exploring how it can be used in the same way as mobile apps when it comes to aiding business. “Augmented reality is essentially a hidden layer that can be personalized in the physical world, and there’s a lot you can do with that,” he explains.

Balti Virtual hopes to grow Tilt The Ice during the Capitals’ postseason. There will be a bigger push across social channels as the coasters are distributed again. The Capitals begin playoff play at home on Thursday at Capital One Arena.

As for their chances— the team enters this year’s Stanley Cup as a No. 1 seed out of the Metropolitan Division—Gee is holding his tongue.

“I don’t want to jinx it, but I feel pretty good,” Gee says. “It’s exciting for us to be working with a team we’ve been cheering for.”




Meet The Author

Evan Greenberg is the digital editorial assistant for Baltimore magazine. A native of Atlanta, he works on digital initiatives and explores the how and why of what makes the people, places, and things of Baltimore tick.



You May Also Like


On The Town

Drag Performances That Showcase Baltimore's Crop of Crazy-Talented Queens

Support the local drag scene at these recurring brunches, dinners, bingo nights, and shows.

Arts & Culture

Poetic Justice

Baltimore City’s Youth Poet Laureate shares original work "What If..."

MaxSpace

Movie Review: Yesterday

British fantasy is perfectly diverting, but barely scratches the surface of its intriguing premise.


Arts District

Cirque Du Soleil Gymnast Prepares for Hometown Performance of Corteo

Annapolis native Betsy Zander discusses the show, running at Royal Farms Arena July 3-7.

On The Town

Fourth of July Events to Spark Your Interest

Fill your Fourth of July with food, festivities, and—of course—fireworks.

On The Town

AFRAM Festival Returns to Druid Hill Park This Weekend

Annual celebration of African American culture brings in big names like Rick Ross and Teddy Riley.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Developers Hope to Unveil Greektown’s Yard 56 by 2020: The mixed-use project will be anchored by Streets Market and LA Fitness.

Oletha DeVane Showcases Sculptural Works in 'Traces of Spirit' at the BMA: Local multidisciplinary artist explores religion, nature, and humanity in exhibit on view through October 20.


Severe Flooding Plagues Neighborhoods Surrounding the Inner Harbor: Stark images of Harbor East and Fells Point arise on social media as area reckons with heavy rainfall.

What is the Likelihood of President Trump Coming to Baltimore?: With a House Republican conference and an invitation from Elijah Cummings, a presidential visit might be imminent.