Last month Nintendo started a closed beta program for Pokémon GO, the augmented reality catch-em-all game that the company has been working on with Niantic. It looks like we're very close to a public release, at least according to Nintendo's presentation at the massive E3 gaming convention. As reported by Polygon, Nintendo announced that the game will be released on smartphones sometime in July.
Now that Niantic Labs has left Google behind, we've all been wondering what its next big game will be. Ingress has managed more than 12 million downloads, but dare I say the just announced Pokémon GO will have even more. This game (coming in 2016) will have a similar augmented reality premise to Ingress, but instead of capturing portals you're capturing Pokémon.
Hitting the slopes already comes with a fairly high wow factor, but RideOn wants to make things even more impressive with its crowd-funded augmented reality goggles for skiing and snowboarding. The project, which started on January 20th, has managed to reach its $75,000 fixed funding goal on Indiegogo.
RideOn's goggles project a virtual interface on top of the snow, appearing as though things are hovering fifteen feet in front of you. The product can produce hoops for you to swoop through or a map to keep you from getting lost. Just don't use the latter while you're speeding downhill.
Wearers navigate the interface by looking up and focusing on a UI element for a brief moment.
As expected, Samsung has taken the lid off the Gear VR headset at this year's IFA in Berlin. The concept behind the company's attempt at virtual reality consists of pairing a Galaxy Note 4 with a bulky head unit, using the handset to supply both the display and the power. The product comes from Samsung, but its software has been created by Oculus. An early-access beta version is set to become available for eager techies and developers later this year.
Just as the name suggests, the Innovator Edition is not intended for general consumers. Samsung wants to get this hardware into the hands of early adopters and developers so that they can get to work.
Droiders is an app-developing startup, and today it's launching MedicAR, a piece of Glassware that uses augmented reality to assist students studying to become surgeons. It guides them through certain procedures, showing them where to cut, what tools to use, what to do next, and how to close things back up afterwards. The video below shows it in action, and don't worry, it's not graphic.
Just because a company files a patent for something, it doesn't mean that idea will eventually see the light of day. In this case, the patent filing in question doesn't just concern an unannounced but rumored product, it deals with a particular aspect. As it turns out, Samsung may one day want us to walk around interacting with our not-yet-confirmed-but-totally-expected Galaxy Glasses while typing on our palms.
The glasses presumably use a camera to project an augmented reality keyboard onto your fingers. You then type onto them using your thumbs, with the camera tracking their movement. The image below also shows the option to input text using a single hand.
Layar was one of the first apps to show the potential of augmented reality, and coincidentally, one of the first Android apps that made users stand up and say "Wow!" But four years later the shine has come off of AR, at least for the purposes that the original app served, like mapping and location discovery. So Layar has reinvented itself with a whole new app, look, and website.
Layar's new ad copy says that the company hopes to "help bridge the gap between print and digital." What does that mean, exactly? It means ads. Interesting, cool ads, but still ads.
If you've ever wanted a Parrot AR Drone that feels more at home in the water than in the air, you'll want to check out the Ziphius Kickstarter campaign. This remote-controlled floating drone just passed its $125,000 goal with less than a day and a half remaining, and is scheduled to go into mass production later this year with backer units shipping in March 2014.
Ziphius is a floating drone, a Raspberry Pi control board, twin propellers, and a 1080p video camera with an LED flashlight, shoved into a lightweight waterproof chassis. It doesn't dive, but the camera sits on a 160-degree rotating axel that can be pointed both above and below the water.
Pacific Rim is going to be in theaters soon, and it's got giant robots and monsters fighting each other. You know what else has giant robots and monsters fighting each other? Pacific Rim:Kaiju Battle, which is now on Android. This is an augmented reality fighting game that lets you put a miniature cityscape with monsters on any flat surface. It actually works, too.
The game itself is a simple button masher. There are two attack buttons and two block buttons. All you really have to do is attack faster than the other monster. You can do battle as any of the three monsters or three robots.
What? You don't have a Sphero? Well, you're going to need one to play this amusing free game. Sphero is a neat little ball-shaped robot that rolls around in response to things going on inside your phone. In this case it rolls around your floor killing augmented reality zombies with fireballs. That's got pretty much all the makings of something awesome.
So you point your device's camera at the Sphero, and the undead will attack. As you guide your sphere of death around in real life, the virtual zombies respond to it. You can play the game anyplace there is a flat enough surface for the Sphero to roll around on.