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Arcade Reality – augmented reality gaming comes to the camera phone


Long time Ferret readers will remember five years ago when we first mentioned the ARQuake augmented reality gaming project which let you play Quake on a portable computer, headset and GPS unit. At that point it was very much a college project, and even today it involves quite a bit of clunky equipment (weighing 6 kilograms and incorporating a full 2GHz belt worn computer).

Well guess what? Something similar has just made its way onto the Palm Treo, using nothing more sophisticated than the internal camera and some software smarts. Arcade Reality is a £7.50 3D FPP game in which you battle aliens or destroy asteroids, with rockets, shields etc etc. Think Doom meets Space Invaders. OK, so the graphics are definitely of the ‘early school’ 8 bit variety, but remember the platform, OK? So watch out for more examples of this type of innovative mobile technology over the coming months, as in-built GPS, high speed HSDPA and more powerful mobile phone processors start to arrive on store shelves in volume. [Thanks Kevin]

 No more killing feeble aliens on the tiny 2″ x 2″ screen! In this game you must handle hostile creatures floating around you in the real world. How is this possible? Imagine you have a device, like night vision goggles, that can detect out-of-this-world objects… and when playing Arcade Reality, your Treo is such device….game objects are overlaid on the live camera view (this technology is called Augmented Reality). When you turn around, your motion is calculated based on what is seen by the camera and the game view gets updated accordingly. As you can see, motion is the key. Unlike most games where you only train your fingers, you must actually move to play Arcade Reality!

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