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Here's an interesting article that ties in pretty nicely with the Information In Place PR posted by View in the prior post. This article describes some of the techniques used to develop the augmented reality gaming application seen in the picture above.

The large majority of the world remains blissfully unaware that the regular outside world is going to be transformed into an augmented reality playground in the near future. MVIS investors see it coming, and have positioned themselves to own a chunk of the definitive AR display technology.

Towards Augmented Reality Gaming

Computer gaming offers a unique test-bed and market for advanced concepts in computer graphics, human computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW), intelligent agents, and perception. In addition, games provide an engaging way to discover and explore research issues in the relatively young fields of wearable computing and augmented reality (AR). This paper presents WARPING, a developing architecture for augmented reality, and describes two gaming systems implemented in the architecture. Users interact with the mobile and stationary platforms through gestures, voice, head movement, location, and physical objects. Computer vision techniques are used extensively in an attempt to untether the user from the equipment normally associated with virtual environments. In this manner, we hope to encourage more seamless interactions between the user's virtual and physical environments and work towards gaming in less structured environments.

While the development of optimized three-dimensional graphics engines has dominated industry interest in the past, one of the major costs of creating current generation computer games is the development of content. Developing an entire 3D world for the player to explore is time consuming and labor intensive. In fact, the complexity of world building required to create a compelling experience is directly dependant on the dimensions of movement allowed to a player's character.

With augmented reality, the virtual world is composited with the physical [Starner97], resulting in obvious restrictions to the simulation, but not without significant benefits. First, the game designer already has a pre-made environment for his game, that of the user's physical surroundings. Thus, the designer can concentrate on creating just the virtual artifacts that deviate from the physical world in the game. For example, an augmented reality game may be as simple as a scavenger hunt of virtual flags hidden in the physical environment. More compelling effects may emulate the abilities of the protagonists in myths and modern stories in science fiction and fantasy. For example, the augmented reality hardware may seem to augment the senses of the player, giving him the ability to see through physical walls to virtual objects in the game, hear a whisper at great distances, see other players' "good" or "evil" auras to avoid deception, follow lingering ``scents'', or detect "dangerous" hidden traps. In addition, the system may associate graphics with the player's physical body, allowing him to shoot fireballs from his hands, envelop himself in a force field, or leave a trail of glowing footprints.


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