Yesterday we saw the reactivation of the @DroidLanding Twitter account with posts indicating a new scavenger hunt utilizing an augmented reality app was on the way to Verizon. Postings have continued today with a couple tweets of photos of some of the mechanized “wARriors” that will be available in the game. The account also released a link to a YouTube video trailer for the DROID Combat/D:COM app. The video shows some game play and screens for selecting your Droid warrior.
Ingress, a sci-fi augmented reality game that incorporates some of the real world into its gameplay, received an update today from developer NianticLabs@Google. The update includes a couple features that users will probably find especially useful. The first of these improvements is a change to the Inventory carousel to display information like portal health and faction control. The second usability improvement is the addition of notifications for “Portal under attack,” “Portal neutralized,” and “@<codename>” messages.
Other changes in the latest update include support for Jarvis Virus and ADA Refactor objects and Recharge visual animation to go along with several bug fixes. If you are interested in trying out Ingress, you can grab the app using one of the download links below. Then you will need to receive an invite as the app is still in a closed beta stage.
Google Play Download Link
Many of you probably know about NASA’s latest venture onto Mars with the little spacecraft that could, Curiosity. Have you ever gotten a bit curious about exactly what that little gadget actually looked like? If you have, you’re in luck, as NASA has released an augmented reality app that will let you view a full 3D rendering of Curiosity or a few other models of spacecraft, with more models said to be added in the future.
The app is as simple as printing out a few markers, then aiming your device camera at those markers to see the 3D model. Best of all, it’s a free application. Hit the download links below to test out the app for yourself.
Play Store Download Link
Ingress, Google’s augmented reality capture-the-flag meets X-Files game, has begun its evolution. The app, updated to version 1.20, has improved rendering, fixed a few bugs and FINALLY allows players to enable/disable email notifications. It’s still in closed beta with a scarce number of access keys, but active players saw portals pop up at Zipcar and Jamba Juice locations this Tuesday.
Portals were originally located at museums, libraries, historic landmarks and other points of interest in Google’s massive database. Players have since been able to submit portal site submissions to NianticLabs@Google. Tuesday’s round of portal creation, however, marks the first time Google has attempted any form of monetizing the game.
Check out our initial Ingress announcement for a brief recap of the game. Those interested in joining the resistance can still request an invite from Ingress.com. Those leaning toward joining the enlightened should really reconsider.
Source: Ingress on Google+
Last year I had a chance to see what Qualcomm Vuforia was doing with augmented reality, and I was so impressed that I had to see where things are 12 months later. To refresh your memory, Vuforia was created by Qualcomm for developers that want to utilize augmented reality in their apps. Things are going pretty well as there are over 2,500 apps available (Android and iOS) from developers in 130 countries, and there are over 40,000 registered developers. Last year we saw an app from Sesame Street, and this year they are back with a really cool educational app that I know my son is going to love. They also showed off what can be done for med students and retail catalogs. Check out the video after the break
Back in September, Google Niantic Labs brought us Field Trip and now they have a new augmented reality game called Ingress. For now it’s an invite only, but with Google behind it, it could really bring augmented reality to the next level. We don’t have a lot of information about it, but from the video you can see our freedom is at stake and the “Enlightened” needs help. Certain places attract not only people but events as well, and the mission of 13 Magnis is to monitor the effects of mind hacking.
Players will generate virtual energy that is needed to play the game by picking up units of “XM” which will be collected through their real-world surroundings. It’s kind of like a real-world version of Pac-Man. What do you do with this energy? You will go on missions around the world to “portals” which will be virtually associated with public art, libraries, and other major places. It’s a matter of picking what side you want to play, the “Resistance” or the “Enlightened”, and players can play anywhere in the world.
As I mentioned, it’s an invite only so hit the source link to sign up. We have no idea when it will open up to more people, but we do know that the game will end eventually, most likely a year to a year and half from now. Official trailer video after the break.
It was during my trip into London for the Galaxy S III unveiling that I noticed an interesting trend amongst the crowd as they pawed Samsung’s new flagship phone for the first time. What do you think was the first thing most people did; check out the browser, fire up the camera, have a play with S Voice? Some people did, however the most common activity the majority of people indulged in was to download and run a benchmarking application. It seems that a lot of Android enthusiasts are interested in how their new baby measures up against the competition when it’s being put through its paces. It’s long been said that benchmarking applications aren’t actually as accurate as they should be, some are optimised better for a certain version of the OS or even a particular processor. Furthermore to get the full range of results you may find yourself using 2 or 3 different applications. Qualcomm reckons it might just have the answer to this problem.
What is the most stress you can put your phone under at any one time? Well according to Qualcomm it’s running an Augmented Reality (AR) application. AR applications utilise close to all of the major components in the phone all at once including CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, GPS, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, barometer, microphone and camera. An AR benchmark application “would be as close as one could come to a total test of a smartphone”
We’re potentially at the Dawn of a new era for technology with the fabled Project Glass prototype already in the hands of some Android developers. Qualcomm, it seems, are ready to help us check to see if our devices are up to the job.
Amazon‘s Flow has been available on iOS since November of last year and has finally made its way onto Android. Not unlike Google Goggles, Flow let’s you scan products like DVDs, books, video games, and more, and shows product details, pricing, and a buy button (to purchase from Amazon, of course). The scanning is done by simply pointing your phone’s camera at the product, or scanning the product’s bar code. The Android version of Flow also scans QR codes, a feature currently lacking in the iOS version but expected to come in the future.
Something Flow does on both platforms, however, is provide a live augmented reality view for certain products which displays things like movie trailers and other media using its image recognition technology. Simply point the camera at a DVD cover, for example, and instantly see an overlay popup with movie info and video previews. I guess you can technically call this augmented reality, but it’s not quite as fancy as other AR apps since you’re just looking at a closeup of a single object and seeing related information… something just as easily done by scanning a bar code.
Head on past the break for screenshots and a Play Store download link.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Google X founder and researcher Sebastian Thrun extolled the virtues of artificial intelligence, higher education, and self-driving cars. A researcher on Project Glass, Google’s wearable augmented reality heads-up display, Thrun said that “the hope [of the project] is to really get things out of your life, not into your life”.
When asked what the glasses could do, Thrun seemed to make a subtle gesture with his head and said he snapped a picture and shared it on Google+. The image he took, seen below, was indeed seen on his Google+ page with the comment “I took this picture during the interview“. His goal is for Project Glass to facilitate interaction between people, citing how “other people can now see through my eyes“.