Getting to Know AG: Augmented Reality Games

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Augmented reality applications create a virtual secondary overlay over our own real-world experiences. Looking at the world through your Smartphone’s camera or a pair of augmented reality goggles will allow you to see the features of this world that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. This type of technology can radically change the way high-tech games are played.

How it Works

Augmented reality can work in many ways. The simplest form of augmented reality will simply layer the figures of your game over a real world backdrop, using your phone’s camera to create the background setting for the action. Sky Seige is one example of this, where enemy helicopters are superimposed over the sky around you. The missile or rocket launcher in the corner of the screen lets you aim and shoot at these imaginary invaders.

GPS Use in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality applications regularly rely on GPS for their functionality. Navigation apps and other location based programs can use your location to show you reviews for a nearby restaurant, or the history of an old church when you point your camera at these hot spots. In the gaming world, GPS features can take on a whole new meaning.

The game Parallel Kingdom displays other players on a real map, along with monsters, treasure, and other game features. SpaceTrek will give you a map of your local area that you use to find and capture virtual ghosts. This technology has nearly unlimited possibilities. Other players could plant virtual treasure in real world locations that would only be visible using the augmented reality app, making for an intriguing cross between live game play and a video game.

Augmented Reality Markers

While some augmented reality games work no matter what you’re pointing your phone at, others require a specific target to function. AR Basketball is a prime example. You print a marker symbol and set it down somewhere in your real world environment. Point your phone’s camera at the marker and you have a virtual hoop to interact with. You can then toss the game’s onscreen basketball at the hoop, moving around the room to get the best shot.

3D Displays

Many augmented reality apps work with a QR code or similar marker that will activate certain features of the program. Point your phone at a baseball card and you can see a 3D version of the player standing on your desk. The Universal Studios ScreenPlay app lets you turn flat movie posters into moving, three-dimensional scenes that you can step into for a photo op. The app also activates quizzes and movie clips throughout the park. With augmented reality, the world around you can take on exciting new depths.

Augmented reality is the wave of the future in mobile gaming. While smartphone apps provide much of the functionality for these programs today, goggles and other wearables can easily take these programs on the go in a whole new way for the future. With the right applications, you can exist in a three-dimensional world that only you are able to see.

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