Augmented Reality – Blurring the Lines Between the Digital and the Physical with iPod Games

A while ago I posted an article about how “The Real and Virtual Worlds are Melting Together“. I thought I should follow that up with some ways that is actually happening. The most obvious example is with games. The following three iPod games are quite amazing and are really only a teaser of what is coming in the near future.

So if you have an iPod with a camera in it or an iPad and you haven’t tried an augmented reality game yet, you need to. It is quite the experience. Augmented reality simply means that using technology you combine digital imagery with your actual surroundings in an interactive fashion.

I follow a blog called App Chronicles, which charts iPod apps that are free for a limited time. Recently I was able to get a tower defense game for my Ipod called ARDefender. Below you can see a picture of the game in action. You have to first of all print a picture of 5 large dots surrounding a picture of a tower. When the game starts you aim the iPod’s camera at the picture and suddenly you have a 3D tower in your living room with little bombs and enemies trying to attack it. In order to shoot you press the buttons at the bottom of the screen and you aim by moving the camera around. Its very cool and surprisingly intuitive!

Another augmented reality game that is pretty cool, and this one is free, is called Aliens Attack. For this one, you don’t need to print anything, just install it and within seconds you will have to try and shoot all the aliens coming at you from 360 degrees. Its hard to describe how amazing this is. Try it out.

The last game is the one I am most excited about because it is multi-player. It is called Paintball Arena. Nothing fancy here, you get cross hairs and you have to run around trying to shoot your opponent with the iPod’s camera. If you are on the same wi-fi network it can even keep score for you. How sweet is that. Here’s a picture of me trying to shoot my dog.

Times are changing! You can expect to see much more of this kind of thing as we move into the future.

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