Augmented reality has become an essential ingredient in the entrainment arena, and particularly where video games are concerned.
AR games on consoles, PCs, smartphones – and soon on smart glasses
The hugely popular Wii phenomenon Raving Rabbids featured in the Kinect Xbox 360 catalogue in 2011 with augmented reality. Produced by French company Ubisoft, Raving Rabbids: Alive and Kicking combines Microsoft motion sensors and augmented reality technology to bring the rodents – more aggressive and annoying than ever – into the users’ actual environment.
Home video games were among the first platforms to include augmented reality regularly, before the technology became more widespread and mainstream thanks to computers and webcams or mobile devices with cameras.
What next to hook gaming addicts - or occasional users?
According to some specialists, 3D technology/stereoscopy-enhanced augmented reality and smart glasses will be the essential new gaming trends.
Swarm, a Massively Multiplayer Online Augmented Reality Simulation (MMOARS), is currently being developed in the US. Designed specifically for Google Glass, the game allows users to generate a record of critical aspects of the players’ daily routine. Players’ movement patterns are then visualised as the movements of an ant colony.
From ants… to drones
Parrot AR Drone2.0, a radio controlled flying quadcopter helicopter, is a tiny marvel of technology: weighing barely 400 grams, the drone is controlled by iOS or Android mobile devices and can record and transmit its flight path and “birds-eye” views. Thanks to augmented reality technology, virtual elements such as a UFO to neutralise or a duel with other Parrot drones can be superimposed into real images. And you can choose the setting: New York’s Central Park or the middle of the Sahara.