Technology sure is being taken to another level, isn’t it? While we were over at CES, we highlighted one of the more interesting concepts called “Augmented Reality“– where essentially a static object comes to life using a special app and your smartphone’s built-in screen. Bandai wants to use this technology and make toy packaging become better than perhaps a toy itself. Thanks to ingeniuous development from Bandai, the new Thundercats and Ben 10 toys will have the ability to come to life through a smartphone screen via Aurasma’s augmented reality. Bandai pledges the interactive packages will help kids “examine every part of the toy before purchase”. Talk about teaching kids the important life lesson of examining something before you buy. Check one for the “this is freaking awesome” list. Check out the video below to see the cool and interesting concept in action.
We had a chance to sit down with the Qualcomm Augmented Reality team. and wow, did we seem some really cool stuff. A little over a year ago, Qualcomm hosted an Augmented Reality Developer Competition followed by the Augmented Reality SDK last April, which is now being marketed under the Vuforia name. We haven’t seen too much from either of these ventures up until today, and it looks like Qualcomm’s investment is really starting to payoff as there are about 300 or so apps in the works or available now. Many of them are still yet to be released, but we had a hands on demo of three really cool apps. Of the ones in the video, Moosejaw X-RAY and 3illiards (a billiards game) is available now in the Android Market and we have download links below. The Sesame Street Street Workshop is coming soon. Folks, we have some really exciting stuff here.
Download links after the break.
The wonderful folks over at WowWee, the company most popular for creating little robot toys, brings to the table in 2012 the ability to combine toys and action figures with Android applications for smartphones and tablets. If I’ve ever experienced a strange or different “thinking out of the box” behavior before, this would certainly be it. And I mean that in a good way assuming this trend kicks off and catches on well. The action figures purchased come ready to pair with their own free downloadable application. The applications can either provide virtual game play with the figures or an augmented reality game play on the smartphone and tab. You can expect to see the launch of the new games early this year and they’ll go for around $9.99 to $19.99 depending on what model toy or platform you want. To kick things off, the company will offer six different products which will include titles like Alien Jailbreak, Zombie Burbs and Elite Commander. You can check out some of these titles after the break via YouTube videos as well as the presser. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of them in the comments below. We’ll be covering more news from WowWee as we catch their booth at CES this year. Read more
If you are into Augmented Reality apps, you need to checkout NBA: King of the Court. You basically search for virtual courts in your neighborhood through the augmented reality browser camera. If you are familiar with Foursquare’s Mayor rating, you will like this because you can become King of the Court if you achieve the highest score of any particular virtual court. The app is classified as freeium, which means its free to play, but it could cost you another $1.99 for more powers, like faster rebound rates.
- Real world locations become the battleground for basketball court supremacy (location based)
- Search for local courts and challengers in your area through an “Augmented Reality” browser camera view
- Outscore your opponents in an addictive, time based shooting contest to become the “King of the Court”
- Customize and defend your courts with awesome power-ups to both fortify and show off your kingdom
- Compete in weekly contests to gain additional rewards and badges.
- Find special courts that give bonuses to their king
- Track your scores against would be challengers with global and local leader-boards
- Challenge – and brag – to your friends using both in-game and Facebook messaging
- Hone your shot to unlock Achievements to add to your Honor Roll
- Customize – Show off your courts and team pride with skins of your favorite NBA teams!
- Collect royalties when players shoot at your courts
- Unlock cool Power-Ups which boost your game in unique ways:
- Offensive – Trigger auto dunks and hyper shots for instant points (i.e. Alley Oops, Slam Dunk, etc)
- Defensive – Crank up the “D” with effects that fortify your courts against would be challengers (i.e. Lockdown, Double Team, etc)
- Game Changers – Rack up your score by maxing your shot distance or unlocking extra shooting rounds
More pics and download links after the break
Thanks to Droid Life, we have an image of what the fully unlocked Droid Bionic DroidDoes.com site will look like after all the codes have been entered. It seems each code entered will reveal a new part of the scavenger hunt I talked about in my previous post. The DroidDoes site will still be a surprise to some people right? Hit the break for a newer version of the video from the site as well.
We’ve got some really cool Droid Bionic news to talk about and I’ll try to settle my excitement down enough to give it all to you. First up the site for all things Droid, DroidDoes.com, went live last night and the @DroidLanding account is active again on Twitter. Over at DroidDoes you’ll find a page asking for codes from four different blog sites, where as of right now, all codes have been entered but one. There is also a video amping up a scavenger hunt which I’ll get to next.
There will also be nation wide scavenger hunt using an augmented reality app called Droid Bionic Arena. If you don’t know what augmented reality is, you’ll basically be seeing the world through your phone’s camera on your screen with the app overlaying a heads up display and other graphics for you to interact with (in real time). Using the GPS on your Android device, the app will direct you to where an AR-rendered prize has been dropped about an eighth of a mile from your location. Once your within 100 yards of the prize, and can see it, you’ll be able to select the GRAB button to capture the item. This will enter you into a sweepstakes to win that prize and a Droid Bionic. You’ll have 30 minutes per game to grab all four prizes available and can play up to 48 times a day for 4 days. You’ll also be able to enter your Facebook or Twitter account, along with your e-mail, to be contacted if you win. How cool is this? I wish I lived in a more populated area like NYC to see people running around with their Android phones searching for things that aren’t really there.
In my opinion, this is a great way to create even more hype for the Droid Bionic right before launch. The hunt will start at 12:00AM EST on 09/04/2011 and end at 11:59PM EST on 09/07/2011. Alright, enough from me. Hit the break for the QR code to the app, a list of the prizes, and some screenshots to check out.
There are a few Augmented Reality (AR) apps out there like Layar, Junaio, and Wikitude, but none of them could be used on a Honeycomb tablet. Well, thanks to Wikitude’s latest update (6.1), it is now possible to use your tablet’s camera to find places around you.
It is compatible with the Motorola XOOM, LG Optimus Pad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The problem is everyone seems to be leaving their tablets at home, but now that we have AR, I think it is time we take it with us, and wave that 10-inch screen in the air to find the nearest Dunkin Donuts.
Android Market Link or QR code via Apps Database
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Qualcomm has high expectations regarding the future of augmented reality. Over half a year ago we wrote regarding an augmented reality SDK that Qualcomm had developed, and hot on the heels of this was an augmented reality app development competition that the Snapdragon manufacturer had held. Fast forward to today and we find that the company has deployed a full-on platform for the burgeoning technology. Through Qualcomm’s AR platform, developers can “build, market, and commercially distribute” their augmented reality applications. According to Qualcomm, apps built with the system will work on any Android phone running version 2.1 or later, but “optimal performance will be exhibited on phones using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset.” How true that last part is will of course have to wait until apps are actually developed, but still its great to see a hardware developer so involved in application development. It’ll be very interesting to see what sorts of applications evolve from this platform. Full press release after the break. Read more
It seems as though everyone is fighting to be the break-out augmented reality application. Broadcastr joins the party and it just became available in the Android Market. The best way I can describe Broadcastr is it is an audio version of Twitter. Broadcastr is a social media platform for location-based stories. You can record and listen to audio stories associated with a particular location.
Broadcastr debuted in December and was created by Electric Literature co-founders Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum. They describe their service as:
“We tweet. We blog. We YouTube. We connect on Facebook. What about our voices? Now, we broadcast them. Broadcastr is a new Social Media platform. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can record, index, listen to, and share audio via a map-based interface. From the historical to the hysterical, the hilarious to the anecdotal, Broadcastr amplifies all our voices.”
Layar is a popular app that makes looking for information around you fun and intuitive by providing an augmented reality browsing experience. There are over 2,000 layars to choose from now within the app, and they’ve recently added some animation to the 3D objects, as well as Twitter and facebook functionality for sharing those gems you may find in your travels.
The new version 5.0.1 will work on any Android OS version 1.5 and up and has the following additions in its release;
- Layar 5.0.1 fixes a force close problem after installation of 5.0 and of course still includes our new features:
- The ability to take screenshots in AR view and share them or layers with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
- Layer are no longer limited to static content. Now icons and 3D models can come alive with animation.
- It’s easier to keep track of your favorite and most recently viewed layers with an improved and easier to use user interface.
It’s Free and available in the mrket now, or through our Talk Android App Section.
[via –Android Market]