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Home » Developer, News, Opinion, Technology

Get Real – Redefining Augmented Reality Games

Submitted by on Monday, 12 April 2010No Comment

ardrone splash
Last week myself and Nitin went off to the Gadget Show in the UK to see the latest and greatest innovation. I enjoyed the event and if I learned one thing it’s that 3D TV is amazing and I want one. As expected, the event didn’t have a big augmented reality focus, the only content we could find was Total Immersion in the Technology Zone who were wowing Jason Bradbury and Ortis Deley with demos. Look out for me when it’s on TV this week as I think I managed to stray into the closing shot as Ortis is walking away from the TI stand.

I happen to mention that it was a shame that Parrot AR were not present which drew a few blank looks. Sometimes I get carried away and assume that everyone knows what demos I am talking about, but for those of you that don’t. Sometime back I wrote about the Rovio which is a remote controlled robot with a webcam. The developers had produced an API that allowed the webcam to recognise markers, making a mobile gaming platform with a difference. There is only one thing that is more fun than a remote controlled robot with a webcam and that’s a flying remote controlled helicopter with 2 webcams and built specifically for augmented reality gaming.

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Parrot AR is brainchild of a French company who want to change the face of gaming by making video games a reality. Why play an xBox when you can fly a real helicopter and play multiplayer games with people over the Drone’s WiFi link and your iPhone. Better yet if you don’t like the game the API is open so developers will be able to use the front camera of the AR.Drone to create augmented reality games.

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While sounding like a million angry bees the AR.Drone does look like a lot of fun and can be used both indoor and outdoors. The price is currently unknown, but it is slated for release during 2010 and has support from int13, Playsoft and The Game Design Studio so it could be an interesting AR gaming platform.

AR.Drone Overview

AR.Drone Test Flight

If you notice in the video the presenter comments that when you view the marker through the iPhone application it will turn into an alien. Interesting, since the iPhone doesn’t yet have an open camera API, either they are hacking or playing around with a beta OS. Either way I doubt the game will hit the market until OS 4.0 is released and the camera API opened up for all.

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