I’ve chatted about the possible impact Augmented Reality can have on marketing campaigns but it’s only the tip of the iceberg for AR. I think it’s an obvious starting point, as most new technologies are often adopted by the profiteering population first and Media Companies are a good example of early-adopters getting involved to turn a profit. I know there is however a greater immersive experience to be had with Augmented Reality, and Gaming is arguably the most interesting use case ahead. With wearable computing a bigger focus I wonder if it will be killing and shooting sprees we see first in immersive AR games and what are the implications? Or is there a bigger immersive experience ahead?
AR IN GAMING IN AR
It won’t be a question of virtually imposing layers on the real world to create the ultimate AR experience in a Game. if that was the case then Clandestine Anomaly would have hit their target on Kickstarter. I was actually quite surprised when they only managed to raise $11,521 of their intended $50,000. Especially when you consider that Kickstarter has successfully funded projects like “Makey Makey” – an inventor kit that lets people turn Play-Doh into a game controller or stairs into piano keys.
Using the Metaio SDK developers created an “unimaginable new layer of reality”. The plot required your footwork and full participation as the experience launched and showcased “anomalies” superimposed onto the real-world through the viewfinder, in this case, the iPad. Using geo-location based tagging (embedded GPS), visual tracking (Augmented Reality recognition) and sensory data (iPad gyroscope) the user was seeing the attack take place real-time, across their real location.
WRONG TIMING FOR AR GAMING
It all sounds too good to be true! And if anything it sounds like the sort of immersive experience the market wants from gaming and real-world interaction. As stated, it turns out the market didn’t feel this way and the Kicksarter funding target was not reached. There could be several reasons why this is the case – one being that Kicksarter maybe not be the right validation tool – but perhaps we’re already beyond this level of “simplicity for immersion in gaming.” Are we already at sensory overload to the point where AR is like…blah!
In a world where parents are looking for ways to move children away from immersive violent experiences it is perhaps more obvious as to why Clandestine Anomaly never reached its target. Couple the fact that terrorism, and other imaginary threats, appear more real than ever, it may be that the fudged line between reality and augmented reality maybe be too sensitive of a option in the gaming realm.
A good indication of a “sign of the times” is the legal system as it’s often the last to catch-up to extreme changes that occur in society. This is not the law’s fault but more a protective measure to ensure that it does what it’s meant to do, i.e. protect the people and avoid creating additional harm. A mate of mine Brian Wassom posted an incredible article today regarding the arrest of a a student at H. L. Bourgeois High School after posting a YouTube video of himself using the AR app Real Strike. In the article Brian does a great job of pointing out that the student was arrested for “terrorizing and interference of the operation of a school.”, which in his opinion, “is hardly a threat.”. The arresting sheriff even made the comment that Real Strike is “just not a very good game to be playing at this time.”
SO IS IT DEATH FOR AR IN GAMING OR BEGINNING?
There is no denying I’m excited about Augmented Reality and the potential for improving practically ANYTHING! That aside I do think that the way we’re looking at AR in Gaming is wrong. It’s seems that rather than simply overlaying a gun onto someone’s view of the world shouldn’t we be looking at true immersion as a form of 4D reality?
I recently tweeted about the work Disney was doing with their research project dubbed Aireal! You know how KINECT lets you interact with virtual objects, well AIREAL lets you feel them, too! If you couple that technology with Microsoft’s IllumiRoom, a new technology that turns the entire room around your TV into an extension of the screen “to blur the lines between on-screen content and allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds”, then you can imagine an entirely richer immersive experience is ahead.
AR FOR GAMING IS HERE NOW
Out of Munich I love Augmented.org. Like me he cottoned onto the fact that Disney are onto something amazing and today posted about their Hide Out Board Games. What did they do? Disney combined a portable projector (ShowWX pico) with a camera (equipped with infrared filter) in which the combined input/output device then records the to-be-augmented scenery and finds markers that have invisible, but infrared-sensitive ink on them, to realize the AR experience! Again in layman’s terms…you can have an otherwise lifeless surface spring to life, and have yourself interact with objects on that surface and have those objects react back.
Building upon that story, and from a name more established in the AR industry lets cast an eye to Qualcomm’s Vuforia! Uplinq attendees this week got to check out a cool new feature in the Qualcomm Vuforia augmented reality SDK called “Smart Terrain”. This feature allows developers to create apps that can see real world objects, calculate their height/width/depth and then build Augmented Reality layers to interact with!
At OnlyAugmented I want to push the boundaries of how we see Augmented Reality and how it’s manifested in the real world. It’s still a very complicated technology that will only be truly impressive when combined with other complicated technologies, to create simply beautiful experiences! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the direction it’s all headed?