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New iPhone app turns flying RC copter into augmented reality game

One of the most interesting ideas coming around to mobile gaming right now is augmented reality. That is, a game that combines virtual and real-life content to create a unique experience for everyone who plays it.

Some games use a camera to take video of the surroundings, then dynamically add creatures or enemies, and others tap into other real-world factors like GPS locations or current weather conditions.

And then there's the AR Drone. You may have seen these little guys in the mall or in SkyMall Magazine on your last flight. It's a highly precise remote-control airship - a pretty cool gadget. But the company behind it sees it as more than just another RC vehicle. To it, the AR Drone is a video game platform.

The Drone actually has two built-in cameras and internal Wi-Fi connectivity. It can be controlled by a Wi-Fi-enabled iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. And now, the initial dream is coming true as the makers of the Drone are releasing a new multiplayer game for the device.

Here's how it'll work. You and your friend both send your Drones into flight. One of you is chosen as the pursuer and the other as the pursuee. As the pursuer, you must chase down the other Drone using your iPhone to control it. The camera transmits live video feeds to your iPhone screen, from which you send out virtual missiles.

The Drone you're chasing can recognize when you're on its tail, and will slow down when "hit" by a weapon. The person being chased must shake his iPhone to stabilize the controls.

After a certain period of time, roles are reversed and the hunter becomes the hunted. The winner is the one who lasts the longest without being hit.

It's a pretty cool concept, to be sure, and at around $3 for the game it's pretty cheap. Of course, the AR Drones themselves cost about $400 each, so there's that. And... so do iPod Touches. So, it's a total investment of $1,606 if you and a friend want to play this game. I think we'll just file this one under "neat idea" for now.

[Source: Tech Digest]

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4 comments

  • Kage_No_Shi - November 19, 2010 7 a.m.

    Frankly I'd be more interested in actually flying it. An RC flying vehicle that is actually stable in the air and has video control? Sounds awesome.
  • 510BrotherPanda - November 19, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    Constantly looking between the camera screen on the iPhone and the actual vehicle sounds unnecessarily complicated. And those $400 could be better spend on something more useful.
  • ryno - November 18, 2010 11:56 p.m.

    cool
  • Hotdiddykong - November 18, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    Sounds cool but WAY too much Money. If anything, I cant wait to see the Augmented Reality Cards for the 3DS's Camera :3

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