ar-aliensWith the release of iPhone OS 3.1, developers are now allowed to produce augmented reality (AR) apps for the iPhone. We first covered this technology on the iPhone back in March, when we met with game researcher Blair MacIntyre about his work in the field.

Augmented Reality is described as a combination of real-world and computer-generated data, where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.

Unfortunately, at the time, the iPhone SDK prevented full exposure to the proper APIs required to implement it. All that changed with iPhone 3.1.

Several developers seem to be working on Augmented Reality applications, with several attempts at games. Chillingo has revealed that they are bringing Toyspring's Arcade Reality AR game to the iPhone. Arcade Reality was first released for the Palm Treo and offers a number of game modes:

  • Arcade Reality - the main mode, featuring the first person perspective shooting scored for precision, interleaved with the special "bonus levels"
  • Infinite Shooter - simple shooter without sophisticated goals, just kill everything that moves
  • Asteroids Mode - 3D version of the well known game. Steering the spaceship feels similar to an RC toy - you must figure out which side is "left" or "right" depending on the current orientation

Video from the Palm Treo version shows the basic gameplay, demonstrating the overlaying of video game graphics on real life surroundings.

Meanwhile, Freeverse has recently released a simple AR app called Fairy Trails [$0.99] which offers a bit of a tech demo, and Yelp recently included an early version as an easter egg.

We'll be interested to see how Arcade Reality actually plays on the iPhone as well as seeing what else the future might hold.

  • TonyRockyHorror

    Slapping a crap game on top of the video output of the camera a good experience does not make.

    • darkedhunter

      Are you freaking serous man? This is a cool tech demo and actually looks like a lot of fun to play. Sure, its not a game that you would play by yourself for a couple hours, but it would be a lot of fun to show off to your friends.

      Not only that, if enough of these games come out, the squeeze will really be on apple to incorporate a camera into their next ipod touch lineup.

      • spiffyone

        As you stated, it's pretty much just an experiment until Apple gets wise and includes a camera in the iPod touch.

        BTW, there's an upcoming game (or was it already released?) for PSP that uses a camera peripheral. It's a sort of Pokemon-esque game, but you have to "find" the little monsters in your own surroundings, then "capture" them by "touching" them (putting your hand where they are located in front of the camera). Chances are Nintendo's bound to do something similar with DSi.

        It's a good idea, and might prove fun. But, again...Apple REALLY needs to get it together with the iPhone/touch line up. There's really no reason, even from an economic view, why they should be so disparate.

      • darkedhunter

        Really, that psp thing reminds me of a toy I used to play with my friends. I think it was "Scanerz" or something like that. You scanned the bar codes of pretty much anything and it randomly generated a monster for you to catch or kill. You could link with other players and trade/train/duel. That is a game I wouldn't mind having on my Ipod.

        And with this new feature, it would totally be possible to make... MAKE IPOD TOUCH WITH A CAMERA APPLE!

      • TonyRockyHorror

        Of course I'm serious. It's not augmented reality if the reality isn't tightly integrated into the experience. Otherwise it's just a flat experience on top of but not "within" what the camera sees or the GPS locates.

      • darkedhunter

        But these were not show casing the games themselves. That is why it is called a "tech-demo" something fun but not all that practical that could later be implemented into a cool project.

    • http://www.naugatuck.com Munkie!

      If...

      The devs find a way to take the surround colors/boundaries and have them act as barriers or some other interaction in the gameplay itself, then we have something.

      Other then that I do not see its current state and use in these TechDemos anything more than a moving background.

      Color me not impressed.

      Munkie!

  • TonyRockyHorror

    Slapping a crap game on top of the video output of the camera a good experience does not make.

    • darkedhunter

      Are you freaking serous man? This is a cool tech demo and actually looks like a lot of fun to play. Sure, its not a game that you would play by yourself for a couple hours, but it would be a lot of fun to show off to your friends.

      Not only that, if enough of these games come out, the squeeze will really be on apple to incorporate a camera into their next ipod touch lineup.

      • spiffyone

        As you stated, it's pretty much just an experiment until Apple gets wise and includes a camera in the iPod touch.

        BTW, there's an upcoming game (or was it already released?) for PSP that uses a camera peripheral. It's a sort of Pokemon-esque game, but you have to "find" the little monsters in your own surroundings, then "capture" them by "touching" them (putting your hand where they are located in front of the camera). Chances are Nintendo's bound to do something similar with DSi.

        It's a good idea, and might prove fun. But, again...Apple REALLY needs to get it together with the iPhone/touch line up. There's really no reason, even from an economic view, why they should be so disparate.

      • darkedhunter

        Really, that psp thing reminds me of a toy I used to play with my friends. I think it was "Scanerz" or something like that. You scanned the bar codes of pretty much anything and it randomly generated a monster for you to catch or kill. You could link with other players and trade/train/duel. That is a game I wouldn't mind having on my Ipod.

        And with this new feature, it would totally be possible to make... MAKE IPOD TOUCH WITH A CAMERA APPLE!

      • TonyRockyHorror

        Of course I'm serious. It's not augmented reality if the reality isn't tightly integrated into the experience. Otherwise it's just a flat experience on top of but not "within" what the camera sees or the GPS locates.

      • darkedhunter

        But these were not show casing the games themselves. That is why it is called a "tech-demo" something fun but not all that practical that could later be implemented into a cool project.

    • http://www.naugatuck.com Munkie!

      If...

      The devs find a way to take the surround colors/boundaries and have them act as barriers or some other interaction in the gameplay itself, then we have something.

      Other then that I do not see its current state and use in these TechDemos anything more than a moving background.

      Color me not impressed.

      Munkie!

  • Jack

    TonyRockHorror is 100% correct. This game looks like crap, and then they made the background of the game whatever happened to be in front of your phone's camera. Pretty lame...

  • Jack

    TonyRockHorror is 100% correct. This game looks like crap, and then they made the background of the game whatever happened to be in front of your phone's camera. Pretty lame...

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    This is what happens when programmers create video games without hiring a designer.

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    This is what happens when programmers create video games without hiring a designer.

  • Scott30

    Gimmicky at best, if not total crap.

  • Scott30

    Gimmicky at best, if not total crap.

  • Matt S.

    What about the fun game Seek and Spell? That is an augmented reality game that predates 3.1 (and 3.0) where you run around a real space (preferrably in a park), finding hidden letters in real time and space and spelling words with them.

    Counts as augmented reality in my book!

  • Matt S.

    What about the fun game Seek and Spell? That is an augmented reality game that predates 3.1 (and 3.0) where you run around a real space (preferrably in a park), finding hidden letters in real time and space and spelling words with them.

    Counts as augmented reality in my book!

  • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

    I can see the promise here. Looks kinda nifty!

    Namco is going to come crush you though. :-(

  • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

    I can see the promise here. Looks kinda nifty!

    Namco is going to come crush you though. :-(

  • TomHandy

    I remember when this came out for Palm OS, and I put it on my Treo. It really did blow me away at the time - and actually playing it was a fair bit of fun. Not great, but a cool demo of what's possible.

  • TomHandy

    I remember when this came out for Palm OS, and I put it on my Treo. It really did blow me away at the time - and actually playing it was a fair bit of fun. Not great, but a cool demo of what's possible.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron aaronsullivan

    Yeah, don't write off this game by the visuals. The fun part is that your "input" is actually moving around and changing your perspective to aim.

    I can think of a few good to great ideas for this basic tech. I think we'll see some clever stuff before you know it (faster than I can get it up there!).

    It really is too bad the video cams aren't in the iPod Touches when you think about these types of games.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron aaronsullivan

    Yeah, don't write off this game by the visuals. The fun part is that your "input" is actually moving around and changing your perspective to aim.

    I can think of a few good to great ideas for this basic tech. I think we'll see some clever stuff before you know it (faster than I can get it up there!).

    It really is too bad the video cams aren't in the iPod Touches when you think about these types of games.

  • Anonymous

    I'd like to talk with anyone here as an Augmented Reality developer...

    this is such a new field, a-ha? image the exciting Augmented Reality on an iphone/ipad/android....

    you can send me email: info@zealion.com
    I would like to discuss, share or offer the experienceideasskills about Augmented Reality iphone develop