Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pop-Up Pop

At ACE 2008 there were a number of presentations that showcased applications for augmented reality technologies

First-year Georgia Tech student Yan Xu showed off BragFish, a co-located handheld augmented reality game that seemed to inspire the kind of giggling involved in other games of proximity and coordination, such as more traditional games like Twister or Operation. It is worth noting that Yan Xu's player-centered videos received a much warmer reception than the clips shown by the unfortunate presenter of "A Remote Chinese Chess Game using Mobile Phone Augmented Reality," who was grilled about the utility of creating a cell phone game in which the augmented reality component contributed little to the experience of game play in an application that may have already been made redundant by a number of other competitors.

Cody Watts displayed Photogeist a would-be photography learning game in which players earn points for centering shots, grabbing close-ups, and full frontal face photos. In practice, it looks like most of the fun had to do with chasing the rapidly moving ectoplasmic visitors around the space of the room rather than actually learning principles of photography, which -- of course -- includes the rule of thirds that the premise of the game disregards. As Watts pointed out, the mobile game Ghostwire also shows the appeal of the idea that cell phone cameras can see otherworldly beings, as the video below for this prize-winning game shows.

In concluding the session, Raphael Grasset gave new meaning to the term "pop-up book," by showing an augmented reality version of the children's book The House that Jack Built that includes sound, smoke, fog, and 3D animales and structures that tell the story of the experiences of native peoples in New Zealand as colonialism encroached on their lands

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