AR Game Designs from Georgia Tech

The Augmented Environments lab at Georgia Tech (AELatGT) has recently uploaded to Youtube videos showing off many games developed as projects in the “HAR: AR Game Design Studio” class last year. Blair MacIntyre‘s students came up with some interesting ideas (some would say unconventional), but in my view, there’s one clear winner –
Candy Wars is a physics oriented game, played with your fridge magnets, where the goal is to feed a frog until it explodes. Things couldn’t be better:

Many more video goodies can be found on AELatGT’s Youtube page. Just a little tip – don’t be tempted by the name, GuitAR hero, is nothing more than a rickroll in AR disguise.

Augmented Fear of Heights

Those crazy kids at Georgia Tech. In the last couple of days, we have seen augmented reality used to make you laugh, amazed and uncomfortable, so naturally someone, somehow had to make you scared. That’s where Georgia Tech comes into the picture –

… we are interested in how to create systems where the user loses the sense of mediation, and begins to respond to being immersed in a blended physical/virtual as if it was a single “world.”

Our approach to exploring AR and Presence has been to develop an AR presence questionnaire in parallel with a physiological presence experiment analogous to the UNC VR “pit” experiment, which leverages a strong physiological reaction (fear of heights) to measure presence.

The experiment asked the participants to preform certain tasks around that pit, while their heart rate, galvanic skin response and skin temperature were measured. By doing so, the researchers hoped to develope a quantitative measurement of how immersive was the AR experience. Sadly, they don’t report on their results yet, but you can tell from the video that some participants were shaken by the event.
Next time, they’ll confront volunteers with an approaching virtual train and have paramedics on stand-by.

More details here.

Weekly Linkfest

It’s time again for another weekly linkfest, but first, let’s take a moment to a recognize a historic event. This is the 100th post here at Games Alfresco. Last week featured this blog’s 500th comment. Let’s hope that by the 200th post, AR will take a more substantial part in our life.

Now, without any further ado, here are some other AR news from around the web:

  • Enter the mind of Ronald Chevalier, an experience that promotes this film.
  • Georgia Tech’s has a new infomercial for their mixed reality design class.
  • Study finds that when it comes to in-car navigation, augmented reality is better than 3D egocentric view aids (such as plain old GPS devices). Who could have guessed?
  • Geocaching using augmented reality is such a neat idea, I’m surprised no one before Jacob at Trimagination thought about it.
  • Looking for an AR primer? Rusty Henderson has one covering the basics (with many videos), and Tom Carpenter has some more details.

The quote of the week comes from Robert Rice’s twitter feed:

My team has figured out how to build most of Rainbows End. Just matter of time and funding now… /evil scientist cackle/

I guess that if they really achieved that feat, funding will not be a problem.

And finally, the weekly video comes from GeoVector (which I previouslly covered here). It’s a concept video from 1995 and contains some interesting ideas. It just shows that even

if you think that you have a novel idea, someone has thought about it before. Jump to 4:51 for a really cool augmented frogger:

Have a nice week!