Archive for September, 2009

Augmented Reality meets Business, but where are the games?

Augmented Reality has been an area of interest I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now. I really liked seeing this little application from the USPS. While you can argue its “usefulness”, its great to see businesses (can you call the post office a business?) trying out this new technology. It’s one of the first attempts at a practical application I’ve seen outside of the gaming or marketing space.

Most applications of AR I’ve seen these days are taking advantage of the Flash Platform. Its great to see new technology applications being created without the need to install any new software on the end user’s system. Those interested should probably start by checking out the FLARToolKit.
Adobe has used AR to do things like hype MAX, which is cool of course. Unfortunately most of the applications has been little novelty apps used to pitch movies, sell cars and amuse television news anchors. There’s exciting things going on with mobile platforms where the camera can be combined with a GPS and a compass, but since this is a game blog, I’ll bring it back to games.
Why haven’t we seen more games start to use this new technology? The first and still best example of such a game is 2007′s The Eye of Judgement for the PS3. When I first saw this I expected a rush of new and innovative games to come along taking advantage of this new technology. Sure, Eye of Judgement was a gimmick that brought some technology to an existing genre of card games, so where is the likes of Parker Brothers bringing rich 3d animations and computerized game mechanics to Monopoly and Scrabble?
Well, maybe that’s going too far…
One of my favorite anime in recent years has been Dennō_Coil. It presented an inspiring vision of a perhaps not-so-distance future of what applications there are for “augmented reality”. Look at your wrist and see a 3d clock or bring up a full keyboard and monitor floating in virtual space in front of you. Look down, see your virtual pet dog standing by your side (just don’t let him get infected with a computer virus!) Games where your position in the real world determines your position in the virtual world. We already have computers small enough to carry with us at all times and a high speed wireless data network. Now all we need are the cool glasses.
dennocoil1.png
There are three sessions at MAX 2009 this year dealing with this area that I’m really looking forward to (in addition to the sessions on gaming I mentioned in a previous post of course!)

Who knows? Maybe the creator of the first great mainstream AR game will be in attendance…

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Come see us at MAX 2009 in LA

We’ll be doing another session at MAX: Flash Platform Gaming Showcase where we’ll be highlighting some cool games from some of our developers, providing a peak at an early prototype of a character animation utility from our super smart Advanced Technology Labs guys and a whole lot more. Hope to see you there!

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Student Discounts for MAX 2009

We’re out here in Seattle getting ready to enjoy the last day of PAX09 but I wanted to drop a quick note for any students who are thinking of attending MAX this year. Adobe has just announced some seriously deep discounted pricing for students:

Kick-start your career. Students get over 80% Off Adobe MAX Registration

  • Network with leading industry professionals
  • Learn new ways to productively adapt your skills to a changing world
  • View work by students that are already getting international recognition

Special student pricing (ID required at registration)
Full conference pass: US$199 (normally US$1495)
1-Day Pass: US$99 (normally US$595)
Register with code STU691 http://max.adobe.com/registration/

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