Nokia’s MGIC: Augment Reality – the Nokia Way

Forget the iPhone. Forget Google’s Android. Today is Nokia’s day.

As of Today, Nokia is playing in the big leagues of Augmented Reality. It just announced the top 10 finalists in its Mobile Game Innovation Challenge.

Guess what type of games made it to the top?

Augmented, augmented, and more augmented.

To make my point, I have filtered out the “traditional” games and put on the list only games that smell like augmented reality spirit. Here they are:

1. Active Tecnologia e Consultoria Ltda. (Brazil) with Cinemarena – set in a movie theatre, controlling avatars on the big screen

Sounds pretty augmented to me.

2. CreatePlayShare (India) with Ball – play any ball game on your mobile or even create your own new game

Reminds me the legendary SymBall, one of the first augmented reality games on a phone.

3. Different Game (Sweden) with Ghost Wire – use your mobile device to communicate with ghosts

Blurring the line between real and virtual couldn’t be more spooky.

4. Eclipse Interactive (UK) with Watchers – conspiracy adventure game that uses Nokia Maps and other real world tools to find locations

Sounds more like a mixed reality game, but hey – let it benefit from the doubt. Today, we are celebrating.

5. Int13 (France) with Kweekies – augmented reality virtual pet game

We were expecting Stephan and the Int13 team to come up with great augmented reality games on the iPhone. Well, they have first delivered for Nokia. Wish them success.

6. TechnoBubble (Spain) with Fun Cam – a mixed reality game that connects your camera on your mobile device to the TV

I don’t really get it – but since it’s a self-proclaimed mixed reality game, we’ll include it.

There you have it: 6 out of the 10 top games in Nokia’s “Mobile Innovation Challenge” fit in the augmented reality category. That’s a landslide victory!

And it’s not all: the three most innovative game concepts will be offered by Nokia Publishing pre-production contracts. The first winner will be awarded 40,000 EUR, the second 20,000 EUR, and the third 10,000 EUR.

Congratulations to the top 10 finalists (including the non augmented reality games…). The winners will be unveiled at Nokia’s Game Summit in Rome next week. May the best win.

***

It’s been a good month for AR games; news have been embracing the iPhone, Google’s Android, and Today – Nokia.

Which begs to say: ready or not – here comes a groundswell of games to a reality near you.

I want my iPhone augmented too!

The buzz continues.

As the coolest gadget around, the iphone is raising a lot of interest in the augmented reality community. This was once again confirmed in an interview with Stéphane Cocquereaumont, President and Lead developer at Int13, a mobile games developer:

“The iPhone is in fact our main target, the next demo we’ll publish will be on this device, this is probably the best device to do mobile AR today, even if its camera is far from perfect.”

Stéphane conversed with me following a post of Int13’s demo on the augmented reality games facebook group titled: “Augmented Reality on mobile devices that just works” 

He added:

“Our AR library should work easily on devices such as Intel’s MID [which is coming out this summer – games alfresco]…but we’re more interested in Smartphones…”

Games alfresco: How central do you see augmented reality in your company’s future?

Stéphane: “We plan to continue working on our AR technology and improve it, we’re especially interested in markerless tracking.”

And here is what I really liked in this interview:

“But our main objective is to create cool games and sell them”

Int13 is among the first pure game developers to dive into the AR space.

“if our current AR projects reveal themselves to be commercially successful then AR could become central for us.”

Cautious optimism, always a good trait for a game developer.

Thanks Stéphane and France from Int13 for sharing your experiences and plans!

 

Don’t you want your iPhone augmented too?