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Get Real – Redefining Augmented Reality Game

Last week I 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 game, 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 was 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 recognize 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

Parrot AR is the brainchild of a French company that wants 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.

While sounding like a million angry bees the AR. The drone does look like a lot of fun and can be used both indoors 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.

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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