In the shortest keynote I’ve ever seen, Bruce Sterling sums up what’s up with augmented reality (AR). This is from the Augmented World Expo which ran earlier this month.
Life is Magic is a new game for mobile devices that abstractly incorporates real world locations in the game itself. Based on screen shots it looks like it takes a lot of game mechanics from social games and tosses them into a geo-tagged interface. To me, this comes across as a tepid but very necessary experiment into mixing existing game business models with massive real world gaming.
Unfortunately it’s only available in the USA (the trailer depicts Canada as a land of only snow) so I can’t play it to test it out, fortunately somebody else has tested it out.
I was impressed to launch the game today, after playing in Seattle during the beta, and find myself in Anchorage, my actual home town. I drove around the city on errands, logging in to see how that affected my game play. I was able to influence a bunch of local businesses on my journey around town in real life as well as the one across the magical land in game, as well.
You are given various questing objectives (there are over 100 in the game so far) that include gaining certain amount of influence in your town, and conquering towers, which are like regional hubs for battling activity. There are three character classes to choose from: the Mage, who wields magic stones and elemental spells, the Machinist, who fights with heavy armor and weaponry that harnesses the power of lighting, or the Monk, a turtle-like figure who has mastered the martial arts. All three classes use a different type of magic and weaponry, allowing for combinations to fight enemy after enemy in dungeons. Many local buildings also double as the store to purchase potions, coins, and ever better weapons and armor.
The Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) organizes regular events and I’ve been asked to present on mobile gaming at their next event. I’ve been to their events before and it’s a good combination of talks and networking. The augmented reality talk looks particularly interesting.
The Mobile Developers & Designers Of Toronto (MDOT) User Group is dedicated to helping nurture the skills and competencies of mobile developers and designers in Toronto.
MDOT gets mobile professionals together for two hours after work each month to talk tech and creative around mobile media content and platform development. The user group covers a wide range of topics and technologies
The Ontario Augmented Reality Network (OARN) at their annual conference recently and I was fortunate enough to attend. The main thrust of the conference was to look how augmented reality (AR) is currently being used and how we can use it in the future. An ongoing theme from the day is what are the cultural implications of AR and what non-cultural impacts does the technology have.
Without further ado, here are the notes I took over a month after the actual conference:
Bruce Sterling‘s keynote
This list doesn’t include the “traditional AR” (that term was used throughout OARN and I love the thought of that term in an industry less than 5 years old) of image overlays as there are many examples of that.
Digital Delta design makes junaio which is a AR browser for iOS
Rob MacDougall from western
Tools to create AR experiences:
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