Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

“KickReal” – Siemen’s AR game for mobile phones

Official KickReal site

Following text excerpted from Digital Lifestyle

Console video games are a hot toy these days, but cellphones have been getting the cold shoulder in this department. Some people believe that cellphones just don’t have the hardware to run games successfully, and thus these types of games will become obsolete. However, other people believe that while there are no great cellphone games out right now, it’s a matter of using the cellphone’s specific qualities. A new cellphone game proves the latter opinion to be correct.

In conjunction with the FIFA World Cup 2006, Siemens is releasing an AG (Augmented Reality) game for mobile phones. In case you’re not familiar with the terminology, AG refers to the use of the combination of the real world, and computer technology. Using this concept, Siemens’ game is probably the best cellphone game out there. The game, called “Kick Real”, allows the player to aim the cellphone camera at their feet, while seeing an imaginary ball, goal, and goalie on the screen. The object is to hit the penalty shot, by moving your foot in the real world. In other words, the phone actually recognizes when and how your foot hits the imaginary ball, and determines whether it would go in!

To be blunt, I’m tired of having a crappy version of Madden on my phone, when I can play a much better version of it on the PSP, also a portable device. Cellphone games just can’t compete with portable system games, so they might as well concentrate on the phone’s unique strengths. With “Kick Real”, Siemens does just this, and uses the camera as a gameplay device. What’s stopping other games to utilize this type of system? Instead of using the keypad as a horrible gamepad, why don’t developers use the camera as an awesome interaction device? For example, a really sweet first person shooter could involve holding the phone with one hand, and holding the other in front of the screen. Then, on the screen you would see enemies, and could aim, and shoot at them by pushing your fingers in a shooting motion. Now that would be awesome!

Mon, February 6 2006 » Future Cinema, augmented reality, cell phone, emerging technologies, games, mobility

One Response

  1. monkey February 6 2006 @ 10:55 pm

    Wow! I knew that it was only a matter of time before I heard of a serious use of AR and handheld devices. I did a little digging and found that the company used shape tracking to recognize the foot as an object that could then interact with the ball. I also found some more fascinating stuff, which I will now dutifully post…