Augmented Reality for Gaming: What Should We Expect 

It’s amazing to see the depth and breadth of gaming technology in the 21st century. Indeed, the vast and expansive realm of gaming technology keeps on expanding and evolving with all sorts of welcome development. Amidst all the high-tech gaming hardware and software available these days, there’s a particular technological advancement that stands out as a radical change in the way gamers look at the world around them. Augmented reality (AR) has arrived as a truly groundbreaking platform for game developers to create entirely new gaming experiences. AR seamlessly merges the physical and virtual worlds by providing a live direct or indirect view of their surroundings, in addition to a digital overlay of extra information from wearable heads-up displays (HUDs) and similar devices. It enhances a person’s interactions with a real-world environment through the addition of computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. All told, AR technology functions by supplementing a person’s current perception of reality. Furthermore, AR is a decidedly more robust and a vibrant alternative to virtual reality (VR), which works by completely replacing the real world with an entirely simulated one.

AR Mobile Games
An increasing number of game developers have created AR games for both Android and iOS platforms.  Essentially, mobile AR games have given a broader range of opportunities to play around and experience this cutting-edge technology at their own time and pace. AR gamers can now manipulate a particular object in the virtual world by using real-world surroundings. From basketball and driving simulations to first-person shooters and even online-based games, there’s a surprisingly diverse selection of genres in the modern-day AR game market.

Introducing … The Google Glass
While these AR games are certainly amusing and addictive in their own special ways, perhaps the most high-profile name in the AR realm is none other than Google Glass. It’s essentially a wearable HUD for the user’s face. Glass connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, either using public access points or the Wi-Fi hotspot on its user’s smartphone. Coupled with an accompanying AR app like Google Goggles, the possibilities for Glass are virtually limitless. Travelers can walk the streets of Venice, point their phone’s camera on a certain building and Glass will not only identify the building, but also bring up its history and other relevant details.   Similarly, online-based games, especially those that involve human interaction such as casinos and poker games, will highly benefit from this device. They can take advantage of its ability to instantly update game right at the blink of their eye. Some known poker players, who are also active online poker professionals, are sci-fi fanatics themselves. We are certain that they’ll be the first one to take advantage of this technology. A prominent poker brand ambassador Kara Scott is an avid sci-fi book reader who has finished the entire Ender’s Game series by American sci-fi legend Orson Scott Card. Scott said that she “read the entire series (15 books!) plus some others by this author over last summer and wow, they’re compelling.” Self-proclaimed physics lover and avowed metalhead Liv Boeree is another highly accomplished poker player who loves reading classic sci-fi stories from Robert Heinlein and Harlan Ellison. Interestingly, Boeree studied Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2005 before pursuing a professional poker career.

AR Mobile Games Today

  1. AR Basketball

AR Basketball is an iOS-exclusive game created by Augmented Pixels, an upstart gaming developer based out of Odessa, Ukraine. To get started, print the free-to-download marker from the Augmented Pixels website; this marker will indicate the location of the virtual hoop. After putting the marker in a suitable area, point your camera to a place where you want your basket to be put. Finally, use swipe gestures to throw the ball in the basket to points.

  1. Toyota 86 AR

Developed by Fuerte International, Toyota 86 AR has been widely praised as an innovative way to promote the latest dynamic vehicle from the Japanese automobile giant. First and foremost, download and print the “Made to Thrill” marker from the Toyota 86 AR website. Next, put the marker on the floor, open the game, and aim your smartphone or tablet’s camera on it. After experimenting with the controls, you should be able to test your virtual driving skills by maneuvering along corners and cones. Toyota 86 AR can be played on iOS- and Android-powered gadgets alike.

  1. Paintball Arena

Another AR game that’s available for both iOS and Android platforms is the Paintball Arena. This Mambo Studios creation brings an inventive AR twist to this classic tactical sport. While Paintball Arena can be played anywhere, it’s best to enjoy the game in well-lit areas. Multiplayer mode requires a Wi-Fi connection. Players can set a certain time limit for a quick match or select the unlimited option for a long, drawn-out battle. After specifying their opponent’s shirt color for smoother detection, players can choose from a wide variety of guns, ranging from dependable standard markers to industrial-grade paintball grenade launchers. Players can win missions with friends to earn money for even better paintball guns. Reloading a weapon only requires a phone shake, while a direct hit by your opponent will cause the phone to vibrate and emit a distracting flash.   Overall, augment reality technology can bring an abundance of opportunities for game developers and players alike. Soon, as we continue to submerge in a world of mobile technology and fast internet connection, we can continue our games as fluid as virtual reality.

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