Pixel Press Floors has a lofty goal: to make it possible to turn sketches of video game levels into ones playable in their platforming game app, done through the magic of augmented reality. Download and print the Floors Sketch Guide and Sketch Sheets, follow the instructions for layouts and objects in the levels, and if properly done, it’ll be turned into a level that can be played in the app. It’s also possible to draw levels in the app itself.
Check out the trailer below, and the PixelPress Vimeo channel for more videos on how it works. Pixel Press Floors will be available on April 30.
Virtual Reality was a major theme at GDC this year, but Seebright’s prototype head-mounted display (HMD) stood out to me for one very important reason: it’s not a gadget-filled headset, but rather a frame to hold your iOS device and turn it into an affordable, self-contained VR headset.
The device is still in the preliminary stages, and as such will undoubtedly be seeing some deign tweaks in the future, but what I was able to see during my hands-on demo was quite promising. Using special software, the iOS device will display two separate images at slightly different angles. Once it’s placed into the headset interchangeable mirrors (one for a translucent heads-up display and another for a more solid image meant for gaming) reflect the images back to the user’s eyes and create the 3D image. What’s more, it’s able to use the device’s own motion tracking technology in order to allow users to look around in their virtual environment.
Personally I’m quite interested to see what Seebright does with their prototype in the coming months. The combination of accessibility (due to pricing) and the fact that it use preexisting iOS technology certainly opens it up to all manner of possibilities.
I’ve killed many a zombie, both in video games and board games, but never in a combination of the two. That’s the sort of vibe I’m getting from Table Zombies, though; it’s like a weird hybrid of video and table top game in the form of augmented reality. What’s currently available is more of a demo level than anything, but there are plans to add even more levels and zombies in the future.
Playing Table Zombies will require a bit of work – you’ll have to print out the various markers yourself – but once everything is ready you’ll be able to set it up on your dining room table or your desk and start blasting away. Or you could just spin the board around and marvel at the tiny hopeless battle from different angles as it unfolds.
You can download the Table Zombies lite version/demo now, for free.
All Things D reports that Ingress, the augmented-reality game from Google, will be coming to iOS sometime in 2014. The game is currently available on Android and has hundreds of thousands of players every month. The game uses the world around you as players from all over join one of two teams to uncover clues about a mysterious technology. It also forces players to explore and collaborate with strangers to earn points.
Moonbot Studios, known for publishing some of the best digital books for iOS, has gone outside of the box before with their print and digibook hit The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, turning it into an Academy Award winning short film. Now they are merging print and digital publishing technologies in an innovative new way, with IMAG•N•O•TRON.
You’ll need the hardcover book, which costs around $10 and is well worth owning if you have young readers at home. Just hold an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with a camera over the book and amazing things happen. Moonbot promises you’ll “Get swept up in a storm! Transport to another world! Play music! Fly!”
It also been called a “wonder of the ages,” so if you get a chance to check it out, we’d love to know if that’s a fair statement. We think it might be. Moonbot, it seems, can do no wrong in the App Store, and this book in particular is dear to many, both the young and the young at heart.
Tic Tac has made an update to their minty augmented reality app, Tic Tac Viewr, to mark the launch of their new flavor, Fruit Adventure. The update adds a game to the AR app, Whack-A-Tac, with a fruity theme.
To play the game, players point their iOS devices at a Tic Tac pack (with the Tic Tac Viewr app open) and scan the label. The game instantly begins. Players tap fruits, avoid stinky stuff, and avoid “forbidden fruit.”
The Tic Tac Viewr includes up to 20 microgames and more “tongue-in-cheek” tips for their Shake It Up campaign. Users can scan Tic Tac boxes, various types of ads, and the Tic Tac Facebook page with the AR app to access the microgames and tips. For users that don’t feel like going out into the world to discover Tic Tacs ads, they have convieniently provided all of the ads on the Tic Tac Facebook page ready to print out and be scanned.
Augmented reality (AR) apps frequently pop-up on the App Store giving users a visual experience over our everyday reality. LEGO has recently jumped on the AR game with LEGO Lens. LEGO Lens lets users watch and interact with LEGO creations at various locations in the U.S.
The app shows LEGO creations that are close on a Google Map. Once at the location, the LEGO creations can even be captured in a picture to share with friends. A radar shows the LEGO creations when users are close.
We hopped on LEGO Lens to check out the locations of where these LEGO creations are popping up. There were none in my immediate driving distance (but a fair few in my state). Looking at the pins on the Google Map, there are quite a few places boasting The Avengers & Loki in the sky. The locations that these LEGO AR creations are popping up in include movie theaters (lots of Carmike Cinemas), malls, and stadiums. The LEGO creations are swarming in New York, LA, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago.
It’s important that parents supervise with the use of this app given the GPS capabilities and suggestions to visit the LEGO locations.
The use of Augmented Reality in gaming is the kind of technological wizardry that would have amazed me as a child. It still does in fact, despite knowing how it works. MosquitoKiller makes the idea of killing mosquitoes fun – something that really wouldn’t conventionally be enjoyable. Using the gyroscope, players can move around their surroundings in order to find and kill mosquitoes.
Numerous weapons are available such as a mosquito coil, helmet, fly swatter and mosquito repellent in order to mix things up a little. There’s also the prospect of finding hidden mosquitoes that can track the player’s movements. Plus, there’s the ever popular boss battle too.
MosquitoKiller has all the makings of a title to be enjoyed in short sessions, especially with spectactors to laugh with. With the addition of GameCenter or OpenFeint support, I reckon this could be a great hit for the casual gaming crowd. For now, players will have to stick to local competition and the allure of the in-game achievements.
MosquitoKiller is out now, priced at a pretty respectable $0.99.
Augmented reality apps are fun to play around with and display extra information about the world around us. But the Marvel AR app uses augmented reality to get extra information about fantasy worlds that we aren’t living in. With the Marvel AR app, users will be able to see additional features for their Marvel comics by using their iOS devices’ camera.
Select Marvel comics, the first of which to use the new app is Avengers vs. X-Men, will include behind the scenes footage, 3D action scenes, video recaps of past events, and more. Comics designed for use with Marvel AR will start featuring the AR red and white logo to flag throughout the book when the app should be used. Users will simply hold their iOS devices up to the comics and then will be presented with the bonus features.
This is a great way for comic readers who still enjoy buying the print editions to get to use their iOS devices to interact with their comics. The Marvel AR app is free.
It’s no secret that I had a great time with Plan X. I loved the premise, I loved the implementation, but above all else I loved the rather crazy style of it all. Now I and others like me can enjoy a little evil mayhem with or without any kind of internet connection thanks to Extrafeet’s latest bizarro creation, Tap and Zap.
The idea is fairly straightforward. Users simply tap on their desired weapon, of which there are five (the Dapper Zapper, Freeze Ray, Goo Gun, Mini Vaporizer, and Plasma Pistol), then tilt their iOS device and viola! The app automatically superimposes an image of the selected firearm over the screen while displaying a background as seen through the camera. Tapping the screen shoots. So now I can crush those who would disobey me with or without access to my Plan X account! Mwahahahaha!
Okay so it’s not totally revolutionary or anything but it’s cute and pretty funny. It’s also available right now for $0.99.
Technology is improving in in leaps and bounds. It’s an immensely exciting time to be alive. Just a glance at the growing prevelance of Augmented Reality games aptly demonstrates that. How about a game that relies on augmented sound though? Now, that’s a bit different.
Dimensions looks extremely interesting in that respect. It uses augmented sound to turn the world into a game. Designed to be played in parallel with normal life, the game manipulates and enhances sound nearby changing the things we hear as a matter of course over the day. Players enter and exit different dimensions within the game as they go about their life. Missions can then be completed by collecting artifacts and fighting enemies.
It’s a pretty fascinating concept and with music from Inception composer Hans Zimmer, Dimensions looks all the more compelling.
Dimensions is set for release sometime this month. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on its development. For now, check out the video below that explains a bit more.
The NBA is coming back! Huzzah! What once looked like a bleak winter sports landscape of misery and despair will now be full of the pittering and pattering of wealthy millionaires pounding the rock in the hardwood. How else were we going to entertain ourselves? By watching hockey? Pfft. The other beautiful thing about the NBA coming back? It feels appropriate to play basketball games, and one title is hoping to capture some of that basketball fever.
NBA King of the Court is an augmented reality basketball game that involves geolocation. It’s developed by new mobile developer Ogmento, who are focusing on augmented reality and geolocation games, such as this one. Players compete to get the high scores on courts located near them. Hoops are located and played by pointing a camera-equipped iOS device around them to find hoops to shoot on. Players then try to sink as many shots as possible in a short time limit, by using a timing bar-based shooting system. Success earns coins that can be spent on powerups and other items. Additional attempts on a court can add to the player’s high score, although players only have a limited number of balls to shoot, though more are added over time.
Once they become the king of the court (hey, there’s that title!), then they can customize the hoop to their liking. This includes things like team logos, purchased with those coins. Feel bold enough to rock a Spurs logo in the middle of Lakers country? Go for it. As well, defensive powerups can be purchased to make potential court usurpers’ job much more difficult, such as ones that make the good shot area much smaller.
NBA King of the Court launched on December 1st, and is a free to play title. It requires a camera-equipped device, though iPad 2 owners should note that the app is not universal as of launch.
Outdoor retailer, REI, already offers a great app in the form of REI but they’ve gone one further with the release of Augmented Reality app, Find Out NYC, launched in honor of the opening of REI’s first store in Manhattan.
Find Out NYC offers users the opportunity to explore a virtual landscape via REI adverts across New York. Six separate scenes are unlockable through exploring the city and discovering the special posters around the area. There’s more than just fun to be had here though. With each scene that the user unlocks, there’s a chance to win great outdoor equipment such as a Burton snowboard, a Novara Buzz One Bike and the grand prize of them all: a trip for two to Costa Rica.
It’s a very neat move that’s bound to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to check out Find Out NYC. The Manhattan store is set to open on December 2nd, located in the Puck Building at 303 Lafayette St. In SoHo.
When it comes to buying TVs in stores, the problem is naturally that it’s difficult to tell how the TV will look where it’s actually going to go while in the store. TV manufacturer Philips has made a TV Buying Guide app to help potential TV buyers figure out what Philips TVs will look like in their living room or other space where it will go.
The app uses augmented reality to help users see what the TV will potentially look like where they want it. Users print out an AR marker from the Philips website, and either lay it down flat on the area where the TV will be placed, or put it up on the wall in the area where the TV will be wall-mounted. Then, the user fires up the app and points their camera at the AR marker, and a 3D model of the TV will appear. Users can choose from a variety of Phillips TVs to display, can choose from different sizes of TV to sample, and can even get a sample of how the Philips Ambilight feature would appear in their actual room. A snapshot of the model of the TV in the room can be taken and shared, as well.
This is an example of how augmented reality can be used to benefit both consumers and corporations; users interested in Philips TVs can get a sample of how the TV will look before they buy it. Also, Philips gets to put out an app that could catch some eyeballs and help sell their TVs. It’s a win-win situation, and an interesting use of this kind of technology. While the requirement of an AR marker is a hindrance to using the app (and it won’t work if the marker is just displayed on an iPad screen, it needs to be printed out on a piece of A4-sized paper), it’s still a very inventive use of augmented reality.
Technology is cool and moving rapidly. We all know that, right? Sometimes though, something will catch the eye that is just mindbloggingly cool. The kind of thing that makes the future seem more like present day. One such technology is that of Autonomy’s Aurasma platform.
It’s an app that can be installed to then allow the iOS device’s camera to see and recognize images in the real world. In doing so it then allows for the possibility of adding a virtual world layer that can then provide anything from a 3D animation to a trailer of a film or game. As the demo below shows, it can enhance a regular paper advert, showing a trailer for a movie or how a piece of furniture could be implemented. It’s impressive stuff and certainly futuristic in nature.
The Aurasma app also offers the ability to create individual channels with users able to make their own virtual worlds for their friends. As well as that, exclusive deals and content can be accessed from participating movie studios and retail stores. Such partners range from Paramount Pictures and Universal to publications such as New Scientist and The Wall Street Journal, as well as shoe retailer Tsubo.
Aurasma is available now for all iOS devices and is a free app. All users need to find is the relevant content!
Augmented reality apps are steadily increasing in complexity, letting users do more and more with the cameras in their devices. One such app is the new app MagicPlan, developed by Sensopia. What MagicPlan does is that it lets you create floor plans for homes simply by using your camera in your iPhone 4 or iPod touch 4th Generation. While the iPad 2 isn’t mentioned, the app would presumably work with it as its cameras are 720p, just as the other 2 devices, which is likely why the iPhone 3GS is not supported.
While I recommend watching the tutorial videos the app provides to figure out how the app works and how you are supposed to use it, you basically are supposed to stand in the center of a room, and aim at the floor corners of a room, lining up the 3-dimensional corner lines with the actual corener lines. You go around the room, taking a picture of each corner, including door positions, until you get back to the first corner of the room. This creates a floor plan for the room, which you can then edit to correct any errors that may have popped up through the photography process. You do this for every room of your property until you’ve created a complete floor plan. There are plenty of options for a variety of rooms and specific door types to make as accurate a floor plan as possible.
The app is free to download, and it gives you a watermarked JPG, PDF, or web published version of the floor plan when you’re done for free. For $4.99, you can remove the watermark, and can pay $9.99 to have the file hosted on the web for 6 months by Sensopia, so other people can view your floor plan directly on the web – this is useful for people who would want to show off a floor plan to potentially interested buyers. This app is a unique use of augmented reality to try and bring some definite utility to augmented reality apps, which have otherwise been used to enhance location-based searches, and for gaming. This could also potentially make an otherwise difficult task much simpler thanks to the advanced technology we can carry around in our pockets.
In The West Wing, Chief of Staff Leo McGarry once remarked “where’s my jet pack?” when referring to the advancements of technology in his lifetime. In one sense, he’s right to remark. But technology has come remarkably far in the past number of decades, especially for the end consumer.
One area where it has excelled is in the concept of augmented reality. To ‘augment’ something means, in cruder terms, to increase it. And one of the ways to increase reality is to increase the information that we have about reality – hence the aforementioned term. The iPhone’s GPS-capable hardware and internet data connection means that it is possible to actually hold up your iPhone and see information about your surroundings, with an overlay of reality. Pretty impressive.
That’s what Wikitude World Browser for iPhone does. As one of the first augmented reality browsers available, it does exactly what it should do. Just hold your iPhone up and have what is, in essence, wikipedia for reality at your fingertips. To top it off, the application is free to download.
WWB has just been updated to version 2.4 on the iTunes App Store, bringing with it a number of new features and enhanced integration. For example, a point of interest like a restaurant can now be viewed in more detail, with telephone numbers provided so that you can call ahead for a reservation. In addition, upgrades to overall speed make the application easier to use, and quicker navigation exists due to a new tab bar. The points of interest are wide and varied, with information from sources including Wikipedia, YouTube, Hertz Car Rental, Flickr, Foursquare and Google Local. The developers note that “there are around 500 worlds [augmented reality mapped areas] with 110 billion point of interests available” to date, with those numbers increasing as the days go by. One additional feature 2.4 includes allows you to search for specific places in all augmented reality mapped areas, rather than just a specific one that you might be in or near to.
Augmented reality is a massive technological step forward – imagine Google Streetview with all the additional information that you’ll need. It’s technology of the future available for consumer devices today. And with Wikitude, it’s free.