Niantic’s Fascinating New (Tr)Endgame

October 17, 2014

A guest post by Vanessa Oswald

1280_Game

I’m so excited. Why? Because of the news that flooded the internet over the last couple of days; news about a book (well, three books actually) which will be far more than just mere paper novels. Welcome to James Frey’s Endgame!

You’ve probably already heard about this new multilayered project before In case you haven’t, let me try to clear things up for you:

THE BASICS

91-nNxO5k2LEndgame is a book trilogy, whose first installment was released a few days ago on Oct. 7th. The books tell a story of earth’s impending doom and 12 ancient tribes chosen to participate in a scavenger hunt across the planet: the Endgame. The task itself is simple: Find three keys hidden somewhere on earth. The obstacles though, are enormous. Only the descendants of the tribe that finds all keys during the game will survive. Essentially, your fellow players turn into your mortal enemies.

That’s all well and good, right? There’s more: The books themselves contain puzzles and clues, which will lead to a total of three real-life keys. Whoever finds a key, will receive $500,000 in solid gold. Quite an incentive to get up and out into the world, isn’t it?

But these books are only the tip of the fantasy iceberg. The planned content will consist of novellas, movies, blogs, vlogs and, most importantly, an augmented reality game for everybody all over the world. James Frey and co-author Nils Johnson-Shelton collaborated with Google’s Niantic Labs – the creators of the world’s most successful AR game ‘Ingress’ – to make this adventure possible for each and every one of us.

“I think the future of video games is not on a screen, it’s in the world”, says James Frey, “How do we turn the world into a video game, how do I make something, that allows a reader, a gamer, or a consumer to be engaged with our property everywhere they go”.

The massive project Frey inaugurated is only possible because of our modern way of living and coexistence with powerful mobile devices. The game is announced to run on both iOS and Android devices.

The Game

Endgame will be a location-based game, much like Ingress, making it possible for you to walk around a map created out of real-life Google Maps data. You can literally explore the whole world. Players will have to choose one of the twelve different ancient tribes and fight for them during the game. There will be approximately a million hotspots all over the world radiating weapons, power and protection. Once you’re close enough, you can access the hotspot and loot the special items it’s holding. The bigger the hotspot, the more power and players will be needed to access it. According to Frey and Niantic, you will also be able to attack other players if they are in a radius of 50 yards, giving you the possibility to interact closely with other participants.

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The more hotspots you’re accessing and the more enemies you’re defeating, the more powerful you’ll get. An extra bonus will be the additional clues you’ll receive. These clues will help you solve the complicated puzzle in the books. The concept itself is absolutely fascinating and since Niantic Labs has acquired a huge amount of experience with Ingress, we can probably expect one hell of a game.

By the way, you don’t have to read the books to be able to play the game and the other way around. But let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?

The authors and masterminds of Niantic Labs created this vast universe, for all those who are hungry to not only read about their favorite adventure, but to participate in it as well. We all love to be heroes, after all. Real life and science fiction have never been so closely entwined.

I can’t wait to be a part of this epic project. I’ll see you out there. Make sure you’re ready!


Weekest Links – Mid July

July 14, 2014

There was little doubt in our minds that Germany would win yesterday. Congrats to the German National Team for a victory well deserved! Now in other news. . . .

germany-wins

Image courtesy of The News Tribe

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Google’s Augmented Reality Game INGRESS now available for iOS [Augmented Blog]

Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins! [RocketNews24]

From kids to augmented reality: the Wearables market knows no limits [Telecom TV]

Metaio Presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [Augmented Blog]

Smartwatches could be a perfect home for augmented reality (Video) [TheNextWeb]

Metaio presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [YouTube]

Augmented Reality News

Who will win the war of the wearables? [ITProPortal]

Google’s Ingress augmented reality game quietly launches for iOS devices [TheNextWeb]

Continental showcases Augmented Reality Head-up display [ET Auto]

Eyespeak Eye Tracking Augmented Reality Glasses Set To Revolutionise Hands Free Interfaces [Geeky Gadgets]

Jaguar Land Rover projects driving data directly on the windshield [Engadget]

An Augmented Reality Windshield Tells You How to Take a Racing Line [Gizmodo]

Google Glass Makes Its Way Into A Tennessee Operating Room [Mobile Commerce Press]

Nation’s Largest MLS to Offer New Augmented Reality App to Members [MarketWatch]

‘Modern Polaxis’ travels through time, augmented reality [Comic Book Resources]

Google’s 3D Augmented Reality Tech Gives NASA a Boost [DailyTech]

Why Augmented Reality Is A Strategic Technology [BusinessWorld]

Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King [AppShopper]

Wearable Technology Could Be A $50 Billion Industry By 2018 [Mobile Commerce Press]

Why do we need to buy TV’s when we can simply draw one? | Tim Gentle | TEDxBendigo [YouTube]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – 3D Tracking: Edge-Based and Point Cloud [Register Here]

DLDwoment14 – Munich, July 21 – 22 [Information Here]

Pick of the Week

Jaguar Land Rover has definitely been no stranger to augmented reality concepts. Their newest concept overlays virtual racing lines and racing ghosts onto the windshield to help drivers race better. Check out the articles posted above and the video below for a demonstration of their new technology.


Google’s Augmented Reality Game INGRESS now available for iOS

July 14, 2014

Long expected, finally available! 

Ingresslogo

Launched in 2012, more than 4 million people in over 200 countries have already played Ingress on Android-based devices. Today, Google’s Niantic Labs has released the iOS version of the Alternate Reality game that lets gamers explore more than 300 million portals worldwide. In the game you decide to either join the resistance or enlightened group and “battle to collect and control the powerful ‘Exotic Matter,’ which is virtually located in real-life locations worldwide.” (TechCrunch)

Through GPS and Augmented Reality, the portals can be found anywhere: for example in or around monuments, special buildings or street art in the real world. To take a portal, the agent can locate, attack and equip the conquest case. The portals can be connected with each other and several linked portals create energy fields. The area which covers these fields is counted as conquered. Thousands of passionate Ingress gamers organize meet-ups all over the world. An impressive case was Operation Green Marble, where gamers from the Enlightened team tried to convert the north half of the Earth to “Green”.

We will definitely try it and discover the Ingress world!

Note: Every Thursday, the Ingress Report is your source for all the latest on the Niantic Project.

Ingress is available for download in the App Store.


re:publica 2013 – Europe’s Biggest Digital Conference

May 9, 2013

rp13_welcome

From 6th till 8th of May the re:publica, Europe’s biggest conference on digital and social media, took place in Berlin. More than 5,000 attendees discussed over three days internet policy, network neutrality and the future of social media campaigns. The most controversial topic at the moment in Germany are the plans of the Deutsche Telekom, which announced already in the beginning of May, that they will choke the speed of the internet in the nearest future. The hosts of the re:publica, Markus Beckedahl, Johnny (@spreeblick) and Tanja Häusler (@elektrotanja) as well as Andreas Gebhard, called up the participants to appeal to their government to anticipate these plans: “Avoid that the Telekom introduces a 2nd class internet!” Tanja Häusler said: “If we can now afford limitations for the sake of commercial interests, if there are no more protests against these limitations, we have to realize, in fact, that the digital society is growing continously, but still, has no power to public opinion.”

IN/SIDE/OUT – The link between online and offline

The motto of this year reminds of the difficulty to connect people from the online and the offline world: “With this in mind, the motto IN/SIDE/OUT can be read as an upending of the digital society: Facebook is reaching one billion users, established newspapers are folding to the net-based competition, and Twitter, which was once the tool for alternative civilian war correspondence, is being utilised by militaries to communicate their combat targets. While we were always sure that at some point everyone would use the mechanisms offered by Web2.0, the question remains: Who profits in the end? Will citizens embrace obligations of governments and businesses to become more transparent, while at the same time tolerate the non-transparency of those companies which form the structures of the internet? Or will we soon pull the plug and return to a place where privacy is tangible again? Will we replace the INternet with an OUTernet?”


rp13_5 dueck_2
Lobo_3 rp_abend

Sascha Lobo: Who’s afraid of Augmented Reality?

Lobo is one of Germany’s most established digital avantgardists, working as an author, columnist and speaker on digitial issues and net politics. He held his keynote on Monday not without mentioning an amazing technology such as augmented reality is. He is fascinated in AR, but honestly understands the fear of people, who don’t know what to expect about it: “It’s like the radioactivity of Internet. There has to come up a lot of awareness training on augmented reality in the future. At the moment it provokes fear on this invisible, unknown power. There is still an anxiety for the merge of the digital and real life.” He himself is enthusiatic about Ingress, an augmented reality game produced by NinanticLabs, which he played passionately in the last weeks: “It’s the most ‘nerdy’ game one can imagine.” Unfortunately, Ingress “guzzles” a lot of energy, but is lot of fun, he said.

Francesco Lapenta: A Critical look on Augmented Reality

Yesterday I’ve visited Francesco Lapenta‘s presentation with the amazing title “Mediated Life after Virtualization. A Critical Look at the Scenarios Forecast by New Wearable Augmented Reality Visualization Technologies.” He agreed so far with Lobo, that there is still a huge insecurity according to new wearable devices which are visualizing information. People usually have six senses and he imagines that all these senses should be combined in one mobile (augmenting) device such as for example Google Glass and giving real added value to people: “Our Augmented Reality device could interact with these machines, and there could be competetional power of different senses which could interact with your vision and offers you help to learn more.” But what does it really mean for us? He asked: “What will follow the inevitable technological peak and demise of old communication technologies such as the mobile and the screen? If the mobile embodied the newly acquired freedom from the constrained spaces of earlier mediated communications? New “seamless” and “immersive” technological evolutions will acquire social, cultural and market dominance while cannibalizing previous technological milestones very much like television did with photography, radio and cinema, and the computer did with them all. what are the consequences of a technology that does not pretend anymore to “simulate” reality or its visualization but now “naturally” creates the way we see the world and experience it?”

If you want to see the whole presentation, please watch the video:

I still feel overwhelmed by all these very great sessions at the re:publica and would like to recommend the #rp14 to you taking place on the May 5 – 7, 2014 in Berlin.

There was not enough time for me to attend in all events and if you are interested as well, we can also follow the re:publica YouTube channel with all presentations and keynotes.

presse_logos-07_thumb rp_5

Weekest Links 4/22 – 4/28

April 30, 2013

AR you going to San Francisco?

Metaio’s Matthias Greiner gets excited about AR at FMX 2013

Metaio | Junaio recap

  • Taking the temperature of European Technology [Financial News]
  • Avangate accelerates cloud commerce across any channel [press release]
  • Vuzix’s Augmetned Reality glasses feature all-digital design [press release]
  • Metaio is hiring for Munich, San Francisco, and now Dallas! [jobs]

There are things that are happening

  • In Google’s Ingress augmented reality game, a ceasefire at MIT and a memorial to slain police office Sean Collier [Boston.com]
  • Smart Glasses will fail without Augmented Reality [Information Age]
  • Sci-Fi greats take a whack at Google Glass [Bruce Sterling] [William Gibson]
  • Google Glass could spur wearable tech boom [Washington Post]
  • Epson talks taking on Google Glass with MOVERIO BT-100 display glasses [Slashgear]
  • A Google Glass rival emerges from an upstart in Japan [GigaOM]
  • Google Earth integrates Leap Motion controllers [Wired: Beyond the Beyond]
  • Google Glass for everybody a year-ish away [CNET]
  • Google patent deals with Virtual Reality GPS Navigation [engadget]

Webinars

Upcoming webinar: Advanced Session for Metaio SDK – Unity

Ready for a deep-dive into developing incredible Augmented Reality experiences with the Metaio SDK while working in a Unity environment? Don’t miss this week’s development webinar.
[Sign Up!]

Events

Registration is open for the Augmented World Expo, June 4-5 (formerly ARE). Use code AWE3META to get a special discount, courtesy of Metaio. Come see Metaio deliver unmatched insight on the industry along with the latest and greatest of AR demos, including the brand-new AREngine! [registration]

Meet Metaio at the Augmented Reality Summit, June 20th in London [event site]

Interested in speaking, sponsoring or attending InsideAR, the most exciting event in the augmented reality industry? Contact us! [event site]

Pick of the week: the future of wearable technology | PBS off book

Interesting short film on the future of things like Google Glass, brought to you by some of the foremost scientists and engineers.


Give Thanks for Weekest Links

November 19, 2012

This is what makes us week. 

I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave.

 

metaio | junaio recap

IKEA Awarded Best Augmented Reality App of 2013 [article]

The folks over at SCARLET are doing some great education work with Junaio and Augmented Reality- learn more at their blog

A “neu” app review for Junaio from Smartphone Mania [article]

Great Android App Review of Junaio from AppEggs [article]

The University of Southern California has launched a great print media campaign featuring Junaio to activate and augment their USC Dornsife Magazine [video]

Blast from the past: controlling an augmented reality robotic arm with gesture-based interactions [video]

 

there are things that are happening

Ray Kurzweil predicts that “brains will move to the cloud” at DEMO conference. Wacky. [video]

Orbotix releases Sphero and lets you play with Augmented Reality beavers. Seriously. [video]

 

but let’s be serious- the internet really only cares that Google did something

Google releases “Ingress” an Augmented Reality / Alternate Reality MMORPG to a private beta. Yes, all of our emails are on that list, and so should yours be.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving and/or enjoy the rest of your week!

-Trak


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