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Augmented Reality

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite AR Game

Niantic, the maker of Pokémon GO, announced today that its new game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will launch worldwide on June 21st. The game will be available in the US and the UK on Friday to kick off its worldwide launch. Players will be able to view the gameplay world through a smartphone, just like its predecessor, and fight against mythical beasts from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts universe. You’ll be able to choose a wizarding house, wand, and a profession – Professor, Auror or Magizoologist. Read more for the gameplay trailer and additional information.

Minecraft Earath AR WWDC
Similar to the original game, Minecraft Earth focuses on building structures, gathering resources, crafting and exploration. Unlike the original game, players can now build augmented reality structures in collaboration with other players, gather resources through tapping on “tappables” in the in-game map, and access “Adventure” which may be a puzzle or a specific task, or a virtual location with hostile entities to defeat. These quests reward players with in-game currency, while collaborative construction is completed on “build plates”, and players can share copies of their completed structures. Plus, Earth features a progression system with levels and experience points. Read more for the first live augmented reality demo straight from WWDC 2019.

Google Search App Augmented Reality Animals
The Google Mobile Search now has a new card that brings augmented reality animals into the real world. How does it work? You’ll need an AR-enabled phone and then simply just search for alpine goats, angler fish, bears, emperor penguins, European hedgehogs, lions, tigers, dogs, cats and timberwolves. Next, click the “Meet a life-sized animal up close” card, and they come to life in front of your eyes through an AR filter. Read more for two videos and additional information.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2
You read that right, Google Glass is far from dead, as the company has just unveiled a new “Enterprise Edition 2″ headset. Priced at $999, it features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 chip, designed specially for augmented and virtual reality, which enables it to incorporate “computer vision and advanced machine learning capabilities,” said Google. This Glass model now runs on Android, with support for Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management. Read more for a video and additional information.

Minecraft Earth
Minecraft Earth is coming this summer, and it won’t cost you a penny, but it does require one thing, a smartphone. Microsoft wants to take the Pokémon Go concept to the next level, and players will “collect resources, fight mobs, and gain experience points” – and the game can be played in co-op mode with friends. It’s scheduled to be released this summer. Read more for the official trailer.

Microsoft Minecraft AR
What happens when Minecraft meets augmented reality? This upcoming game from Microsoft of course. Set to be revealed on May 17th, it features the traditional inventory menu from the original game siting along the bottom of the screen, and the rest is filled with the world of “Minecraft.” If you’re already familiar with Pokémon Go, this new game should be very easy to pick up. Read more for the teaser video.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 US Army

Photo credit: US Army via The Verge
Microsoft won a $480-million contract to supply prototypes for augmented reality systems to the US Army for use on combat missions and in training back in November. This contract could eventually lead to the military purchasing over 100,000 headsets and is intended to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.” Here’s a first look at how these special HoloLens 2 headsets look. “Augmented reality technology will provide troops with more and better information to make decisions. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” said a Microsoft spokesman said in an email statement. Read more for another video and additional information.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Pokemon Go

The first Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay footage has surfaced, and it builds upon Pokémon GO’s augmented reality technology. This free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game inspired by the Wizarding World is being developed by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic. Instead of Pokémon, the game lets players fight against mythical beasts from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise. How is this game different? Well, Ninantic did purchase Escher Reality, so the game is expected to implement new technology to allow for persistent worlds within AR. Read more for another video and additional information.

Apple Patent Augmented Reality
A patent titled “Systems, methods and graphical user interfaces for interacting with Augmented and Virtual Reality environments” could be hinting at the development of an Apple Augmented Reality (AR)-based headset that would connect to an iPhone and enable users experience an environment where computer images are projected on the real world. The headset would wirelessly communicate with a computer and iPhone. Read more for a picture of the filing and additional information.

Pictionary Air AR

Photo credit: CNET
Mattel has just announced Pictionary Air, an AR-powered version of the classic board game where players draw in the air using a light pen while their smart device (or television) tracks their movements. Rather than using a traditional pen and paper to draw pictures for players to identify, you are provided with a light-up pen and then the drawing is cast in real-time onto a mobile device or TV equipped with Chromecast or AirPlay. Read more for a hands-on video preview and additional information.