Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a while, think Minority Report, Terminator or HUDs. 2008 Gartner nominated AR as one of the top 10 disruptive technologies for 2008-2012. Lately there have been some concrete steps to turn AR into real business:
- First AR focused business conference are2010 was held in June 2010
- Dozens of AR apps are popping in all application stores, see top30 iPhone AR apps here.
- Large companies (Qualcomm developer challenge) and VCs (Chart Venture Partners invest in Ogmento) are investing on AR
AR is about enhancing one’s current perception of reality. AR is often illustrated by superimposing information on our vision (see images above), but this could be also done by using other senses, i.e. vibrating handset when walking past an interesting landmark or giving voice commands while trying to navigate to your location. A great way to get grasp of AR is to read two books: Daemon and Rainbows End.
Science fiction has a great ability to inspire and spur discussion, but Gaming is often the first place where these ideas are tested with real consumers. AR Games are vehicles that are getting millions of people familiar with the concept. Nokia has lately released multiple different AR related mobile games and experiences:
- Nokia NRC Hollywood’s Westwood Experience offered new form of storytelling
- Conspiracy for Good took people on a four week journey of making a difference
- Ovi Maps Racing let’s people create tracks and race on top of real map
- Ovi Maps chalenge is a brain game on top of a real map
- Climate Mission teaches player about environment and global warming
- Space Impact Meteor Shield is a simple shooter controlled by turning around with your handset
To learn more about AR gaming you should read Andrea Phillips’ ISMAR09 paper where she defines different AR gaming genres: