Ingress – Google’s Underground Augmented Reality Game

Ingress LogoIngress is an augmented reality massively multiplayer online video game created by Google’s NianticLabs. It was released in closed beta release for Android devices. People around the world are fighting for invitiation codes over the last weeks. Luckily i got one invitation code two weeks ago and ever since i am exploring the Ingress reality overlay in my hometown. The gameplay is rather simple, as players of the game belong to one of two factions, Enlightened (color green) and Resistance (blue). The game-play is designed around the mission to capture virtual Portals, in order to enclose regions between portals with virtual links and fields. Despite this really simple game play, Ingress happens to be quite addictive. Exploring a secret world that exists like an overlay on your real world urban environment offers interesting experiences. Ingress also motivates people to go out and explore the real world, like visiting an old sculpture on the way to work in order to hack the virtual portal there. Negative sideeffect of Ingress could be a massive increase of gas usage, as thousands of people are driving through the streets to discover new Ingress portals.
Ingress Augmented Reality massive Multiplayer GameIngress Augmented Reality massive Multiplayer Game Portal

And trust me you will need a power extension for your smartphone to play Ingress 😉

Sight – A Science Fiction Clip on Augmented Reality

This science fiction short film, by ERAN MAY-RAZ and DANIEL LAZO, presents implanted augmented-reality technology as it could happen within several years. I really enjoyed the ‘egg game’ scene 🙂 it proves that most of life is just a game, as Jane McGonigal already proclamed in her TED talk about a ‘game that gives you 10 more years of life‘. Maybe your life is without this restart possibility.

Augment the Real World

Within their recent TED talk Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts present Aurasma, a new technology for augmenting the real world by using image recognition. Aurasma enables the immediate and seamless virtual animation of the real world. As they are going beyond state-of-the-art augmented reality, their auras can do everything from making a painting talk to overlaying live news onto a printed newspaper. Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts are both working for the Startup Aurasma, which implements such a virtual reality lens for augmenting the real world.

The Aurasma app was created out of technology that is capable of recognizing images, symbols and objects in the real world and understanding them. It can then deliver digital content in real time, including videos, animations, audio or webpages. Within the first year as a company the Aurasma mobile app already reached over 4 million downloads. Aurasma is available for download on Android or iPhone.

Pimp a Dot Display

Look at this nice project by the Breakfast NY team, where they enhanced a dot display to run super fast with 15 times higher speed than normal. This dot display is 23 foot long and 12 feet high and made up of 44,000 dots. The dots move by using electromagnets to flip from black to white, comparable to modern eInk displays, and passerby can interact with the display through their body movement.

Startup that sells the Facebook Presence Hardware Concept

pokemon imageDo you remember the early Facebook days when a clever Facebook Engineer developed a web-enabled beer keg at company headquarters? Facebook employees could used a status update on facebook.
The technology behind the keg is called Presence which is still used for other technical purposes. One of the engineers behind Presence, John Stockdale, is starting a company around the presence concept.
Presence Inc. is working on giving real world objects a digital identity. They call the concept “Digital identity for the physical world.” Stockdale posted about the company on Presence Inc’s new page:

We aim to simplify and modernize a whole slew of ordinary interactions that you have with the real world. Many of you will remember Super Secret Door (, a facebook-enabled door that three of us* built during Hackathon 18. It was only a proof of concept, but it’s one of many ideas that Presence as a platform will enable.

Using our platform, your home will know who is trying to access it. A hypothetical lock application allows you to specify access rules for your door and garage (…car, ski-house, bike, etc.), on an individual or group basis. You and your roommates have 24/7 access. Your housekeeper has access between 2pm and 6pm on Tuesdays. When you’re out of town, your kickball group can get into your garage over the weekend to pick up and drop off the bases and gear. Any unauthorized access results in an email notification explaining who attempted access and when.

By giving the places and things we interact with the capability to understand who is interacting with them, and in what manner, we can enable a whole new generation of real-world user experiences.


Stiktu – Layar launches Augmented Reality Graffity

Layar, the startup which one of the first professional Augmented Reality browsers, recently revealed a new business model. Within their creator tool customers can publish Augmented Reality advertisements. So all about advertisements again, much the same like Google’s Adsense but within Augmented Reality. The advertisement publishers pay and Layar augments the virtual world with advertisements. This model surely can only work if Layar offers some additional content, the user is willing to start the AR app for. Otherwise nobody will watch a virtual reality /augmented reality which is overfilled with advertisement. I for my part consume enough ads in television and Web 😉 i do not have to augment my reality with ads again. So Layar’s original AR business is changeing to a much more social idea. This days they launched Stiktu, which is some sort of a AR virtual graffity app.

A magic tale with augmented reality

In his talk at the TED conference, Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity — all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.

A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini.

Nokia City Lens augmented reality browser

Well finally Nokia’s Beta-Labs gets some sort of a drive to publish innovations for the Windows Phone smartphone family. In this video Beta-Labs shows Nokia City Lens. Using an augmented reality browser, the user is offered a virtual view through walls and buildings of various points near you that can be browsed by categories such as food, nearby, sights or searched for with text. Better still, searching for AT&T WiFi will find access points nearby and all you then need to do is hoof it in the direction shown by the small icon on the display. Follow the video to get some insight view of this new augmentation application from Nokia Beta-Labs.