Augmented reality is one of those hyper-advanced technologies that seems to bubble under mainstream use for ages. One of the biggest proponents is Google, primarily via its Glass headset, which offers a sort of augmented reality experience. But now if you own an Android phone you can try out some really interesting AR tech via a worldwide Google game called Ingress, starting December 14th .
Ingress was launched about a year ago as a closed beta test experiment by Google’s Niantic Labs. The game involves two teams playing for dominance, and players have to physically go to locations in the real world, guided by the Ingress game app, where they can collect game energy in the form of “exotic matter.”
Google has quietly backed this game for over a year, and clearly expects it to last a lot longer as the public catches on. Will you be playing? Like geocaching, I suspect there will be a brief spike in use as people try out the idea of interacting in digital gamespace via real-world actions. Some people will become die-hard fans, but it will take time to catch on in a much bigger way. Yet with Glass offering a permanently on augmented experience, Ingress could be seen as heralding a new world of gaming that’ll arrive when wearable technology becomes mainstream.