AR Games You Must Play Now!

It seemed like only last week we were clamoring for more games to showcase the power of augmented reality.  Now I find it hard enough just to keep up with them all.  Instead of trying to create a list, I’m going to just brain dump them into the Internet and let you all decide which ones you want to try.  I’m sure I’ll miss some, so if I have, just add ‘em to the comments section.

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary

I covered this one a month back on the Future Digital Life.  Great game and I loved that it got the kids and I out of the house on late night adventures and using our imaginations.  Nice work, Ogmento.

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary from Ogmento on Vimeo.

Nintendo 3DS – AR Games

Let’s count the whole suite of them from AR Shot to Fishing.  The game system takes card based AR to a whole new place.  Well, actually, it’s the same place you’re in, but with cool graphics overlain.

AR Soccer

Short and simple but can be addicting for at least as long as it takes your calves to cramp up.

Paparazzi (Qualcomm’s AR Challenge Winner)

The point of the game is to snap as many pictures as possible before the Star gets to pissed and decides to go Lindsey Lohan on your camera.  Thankfully, the cracked screen is only part of the game.  Will a Charlie Sheen edition be coming soon?

Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner

Epic space battles on your iPhone.  New York City sold separately.

AR Basketball

Sorry, but swiping the screen on this game just makes me want to play a version of AR Angry Birds.

AR Pirates!

Created by Optricks Media to get you to say “ARrrr Matey!” for the rest of the day after you’ve played it.

AR Defender

Tower defense by Int13.

The AR Drone

Like having a quad-rotor hovercraft wasn’t cool enough, they had to go and add augmented reality.

Pringles Game

There’s a whole host of these product placement games out there.  I’ll summarize them by posting just this one video.  Fill in any number of other products that have jumped on the product as AR game bandwagon.

PBS Kids Games

It’s not a game yet, but it’s a nice article about combining learning and games.

Weekly Linkfest

Lots of exciting news this week!

As for this week’s video, we have Sky Canvas, an iPhone application with a brilliant concept behind it, from Shiodome Innovation Studio, Japan. A part of their PaPaCo Design Project, Shiodome tried to create an application that can be played together by a father and his son. With Sky Canvas, the two can form clouds in the shape of animals by tapping and blowing air to the microphone. Unfortunately, the app is not available outside of Japan, so I can’t really test it, but as you surely have understood by now, I dig the concept:

Have a great week!

The First Fun Augmented Reality Game on the iPhone App Store Was Just Submitted

Since September 2009, we have seen many quasi-augmented reality (AR) games on the iphone, some fun concept AR games (on other platforms and devices with no real commercial distribution).

Today I had the pleasure to play the first truly fun, truly AR game on the iphone – and I loved it.

It’s called AR Defender, developed by the talented team and our good friends at Int13.

With close to 30 frames per second – it’s a huge achievement from a technical perspective (even though they are using their proprietary marker).

And it’s looks great. The game play is a mix between a simple table top game, and a typical to Tower of Defense game, nicely adapted for the AR experience. Few seconds into the game you forget you are aiming at a marker and get immersed into the game play – wow!

That together with the fact it’s available on the app store may lead to commercial success that we haven’t seen before with an AR game.

This is VERY encouraging, because Games Are The Killer App For Augmented Reality.

Check it out:

The game should be approved by Apple soon – so when it does – try it and let us know what you think!

Weekly Linkfest – The Justin Bieber Edition

This linkfest has nothing to do with Justin Bieber, and everything to do with augmented reality news bites from the last week. I’m just checking if the mere inclusion of Mr. Bieber in the title will generate more hits.

This week’s video is a promotion video for Sekai Camera. Tonchidot, the company behind this veteran AR browser recently got a $5M from Japan’s telecom giant KDDI (though some claim that KDDI actually bought Tonchidot). And if that’s not enough, Tonchidot announced the creation of social AR game. The future looks bright for those guys:

Have a great (and cool) week!

Weekly Linkfest

After a month long hiatus, it’s back! The weekly linkfest is here, with a fresh batch of links:

Video of the week shows a social hacking feat which will probably become a common practice as AR goes mainstream. Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking created “The leak in your home town”, an augmented reality application for the iPhone, which displays a virtual oil spill whenever you set the phone’s camera on a BP logo. Don’t expect to see it on the AppStore anytime soon. (via Beyond the Beyond):

Happy 4th of July to our American visitors!

Weekly Linfest

This week was dominated by the Parrot’s ARDrone, which is just about the coolest toy I’ve seen in a while, made even cooler by augmented reality from our friends at int13. Other AR news articles making the rounds this week:

Our weekly video comes from Techcrunch (3), and I’m quite sure most of you will find it non-AR. Yet, since it really makes you see things differently, exposing hidden information not available to most of us in any other way, I tend to call it AR. It’s called SnapTax, and it helps you fill up your taxes by taking a picture of your tax forms (if you are a US citizen).

Have a great week!

Why Int13 Got in Bed with Total Immersion

Yesterday, Total Immersion (TI) and Int13 – both French augmented reality companies – announced a strategic partnership, in which Int13 would help TI cover a major gap in its product line: Mobile Augmented Reality.

A French kiss or a Russian bear hug?

Instead of guessing, we went out to speak with Stéphane Cocquereaumont, president and lead developer at In13, the mobile games boutique studio behind an AR game legend: Kweekies (“when is it coming out?”).

Ori: Congratulations Stéphane! This must be a big shift for Int13.

Stéphane: Thanks. We started discussions with TI back in April, so we knew where this was going for some time now.

Ori: What was TI’s motivation to approach Int13?

Stéphane: TI approached us because their clients kept asking for “360″ solutions. While TI is strong with large installations, live shows, and PC based experiences – their mobile AR line needed a boost.

Ori: …and what about Int13? You had it going as an independent studio with Kweekies, first on Nokia and then on the iPhone.

Stéphane: We have been flooded with requests from marketing agencies about mobile AR campaigns. At first we tried to adress those requests, but we soon realized managing their expectations in terms of delays, pricing and capabilities of the tech posed a huge overhead, and was distracting us from our goals.

Ori: So, you decided to “outsource” the headache and focus on your product?

Stéphane: Exactly. TI will work with the marketing agencies and other players asking for quick mobile AR applications. We will offer them our tech embedded in a nice and clean SDK with a Lua API, easy to use but with limited flexibility.

Ori: You make TI happy, yet keep the full power to yourself. Make sense. What can you reveal about the business terms?

Stéphane: For TI this partnership means they have a working mobile AR SDK, with worldwide exclusive rights for two years. They pay an annual license fee, plus royalties on all the projects they deliver with our tech.

This should be a win-win partnership.

Ori (note to self): [...more of a French kiss than a Russian bear hug.]

Stéphane: We’ve also made a deal with another french company, the project will be shown during CES in January 2010; very exciting project but I can’t say anything about it for now.

Ori: Thanks for teasing us. Can’t wait to see it.

Stéphane: We’re also discussing with device makers, we’ve been to Korea last month, and we’ll release our first AR game very soon (September or October) in Korea. The game will first be available on the SKT network, on Samsung devices.

Ori: Wow. You’re unstoppable.

Stéphane: Wait, there’s more – we’ll soon publish a preview video of ARDefender; it’s a simple game to help players discovers the capabilities of AR.

Ori: Fantastic. And when will we be able to finally play the legendary Kweekies?

Stéphane: Kweekies is delayed…too many other projects on the plate for our small team. We still intend to release it by Christmas – though we can’t promise…
Ori: Awww…that’s a downer…any good news to close with a positive note?

Stéphane: Yes, I got something for you – we’ll soon reveal a new demo of ARWiz 2, the next iteration of our AR tech, faster and much more robust.

Ori: That’s a great comeback. Thanks for sharing the story behind the scenes, Stéphane.

And all the best for Int13 and TI in your new (in bed) relationship.

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Open Letter to Apple: Let us Augment Reality with the iPhone!

A letter sent to Apple Developer Relations.

Dear Apple,

We are a collection of augmented reality (AR) enthusiasts and professionals (from business and academia), who have been working on a multitude of AR apps for the iPhone. These apps are poised to change the way people interact with the real world.

But here is the rub: we are currently unable to publish these apps on the app store because the iPhone SDK lacks public APIs for manipulating live video.

We are asking Apple to provide a public API to access live video in real time, on the iPhone.
We will be happy to offer additional technical details.

The impact of augmented reality (AR) on our lives could be as significant as the introduction of the PC.
In 10 years, we believe augmented reality will change the way everyone experiences travel, design, training, personal productivity, health care, entertainment, games, art, and advertising (videos).

Looking back just a few years, AR pioneers had to hack a slew of components into ridiculously large backpacks and HUDs, and be confined to rigged environments. Nowadays, it comes in friendly, affordable packages and the iPhone is one of the first devices to have it all – except for a public API.

The battle to determine the winning device has already begun; a public API to access live video will give the iPhone a lucrative ticket to compete.
We believe Apple has a window of opportunity of about 3 months before developers start looking elsewhere. If Apple decides to publish the API in that time frame – in the next 10 years, everyone might be using the iPhone as the preferred device to interact with the real world.

Here is how augmented reality could open up new opportunities for the iPhone this year:

Arf (Georgia Tech)

a virtual pet you take anywhere

ARghhhh (Georgia Tech)

first person table-top action game

Sekai Camera (Tonchidot)

AirTag the real world

Kweekies (int13)

a portal to creatures in a parallel world

Layar (SPRXmobile)

Browse the world with an AR browserDetails

Artoolkit for the iPhone (Artoolworks)

the most popular AR kit now on the iPhone

StudierStube ES (Imagination, Graz TU)

the only AR engine designed for mobile devices, now on iPhoneDetails

PTAM on the iPhone (Oxford University)

next generation AR tracking with no markers or images

Wikitude (Mobilizy)

a travel guide that “tells you what you see”

Virtual Santa (Metaio)

interactive Christmas application using the augmented reality

Augmented Reality Sightseeing (Fraunhofer IGD)

Historic photographs overlaid on your field of view while strolling in a street

These are apps that are practically ready to go. There is a whole bunch of apps and games that are just waiting for the API to be available.

…And Apple, we know you can’t share your plans…so please surprise us soon!

Many many thanks for your consideration -
Sincerely,

Signed:
Michael Gervautz – Managing Director Imagination GesmbH
Robert Rice – CEO Neogence
Georg Klein – PhD PTAM creator from Oxford University
Stephane Cocquereaumont -  President & Lead Developer Int13 (Kweekies)
Maarten Lens-FitzGerald – Founder & Partner SPRXmobile, developer of Layar
Ori Inbar – Author of GamesAlfresco.com and CEO and founder – Ogmento (formerly Pookatak Games)
Philippe Breuss – Lead developer, Mobilizy
Philip R. Lamb – CTO, Artoolworks
Noora Guldemond – Metaio
Takahito Iguchi – CEO, Tonchidot
Blair MacIntyre – Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Bruno Uzzan – CEO, Total Immersion
Michael Zoellner
Fraunhofer IGD
Andrea Carignano – CEO,  Seac02

If you are developing an AR app for the iPhone and wish to join this effort – just let us know.

Your Favorite Augmented Reality Games Of All Time

Our inaugural post from early 2008: “Top 10 AR demos that will…” sparked huge interest. Since then, we have witnessed loads of AR games swarming the market.

Well, that may be an exaggeration – but the industry has certainly transitioned from delivering mere demos to actual games; from proof of concepts to commercial products; from “Yay” to “W00t!”

We have covered these AR games before, but Today is your chance to choose.

Vote for your all time favorite augmented reality games!

Our only rules for nomination:

1) It’s a fun game

2) It registers computer graphics on reality

3) It runs on commercial off the shelf hardware.


Here are the 18 nominees in chronological order (when first surfaced on the web):

go!

1. The Invisible Train

2004 – Graz University (PDA, Gizmondo)

2. Catapult

March 2006 – Gizmondo (Gizmondo)

3. Eye of Judgment

May 2006 – Sony (Sony EyeToy)

4. AR Tennis

June 2006 – Fanta/HIT Lab NZ (Nokia)

5. WizQubes

March 2007 – MXR

6. Level Head

October 2007 – Julian Oliver (webcam)

7. ARis

July 2008 – Geisha Entertainment (Webcam)

8. Kweekies

October 2008 – Int13 (Nokia, iPhone)

9. Ghostwire

October 2008 – A Different Game (Nintendo DSi, Nokia)

10. Tower of Defense

December 2008 – Sergey Ten

11. Topps

March 2009 – Total Immersion (Webcam)

12. Scope

March 2009 – Frantz Lasorne (Goggles)

13. Do the Dip

April 2009 – MacDonald’s (webcam)

14. ARhrrrr!

May 2009 – GA Tech and SCAD-Atlanta (Nvidia Tegra)

15. Candy Wars

May 2009 – GA Tech and SCAD-Atlanta (Gizmondo)

16. Art of Defense

May 2009 - GA Tech (Nokia)

17. RubberDuckzilla

May 2009 – Oasis (webcam)

18. InVizimals

June 2009 – Sony (PSP)

-*-*-*

Which are your favorites?

Share with your friends and find out their favorites!
(share button at top right of page)

The winners will receive the lucrative -

“Games Alfresco Hall of Fame Award”

Augmented Reality Game Poised to Win Game Award: Vote for Kweekie

Stephan Cocquereaumont, president and lead developer of Int13, a French next-gen games studio for Smartphones, has just shared with me the latest video of his mobile Augmented Reality game – Kweekies:

Kweekies is an Augmented Reality virtual pet game that allows gamers to interact with their pet by using the embedded camera of their Smartphone. 3 selling points – Augmented Reality that just works – Cute Virtual Pets – Online Competition


Kweekies is one of the 6 nominees for International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) in the newly established Real World Games Category.

The competition is taking place this week at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.

Here are the nominees:
Ghostwire
FastFoot-Challenge
Kurai: The Dark Monolith
Kweekies
MoveYa!
Aikon Ghost Hunter

Is Kweekie the only true Augmented Reality Game in the bunch?

We already had that debate before…

In any case, the winners will be announced soon – and you can make a difference.

Vote for the best!

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