The possibilities of Augmented Reality are really starting to take shape thanks to developers such as Abhishek Singh and his life size Super Mario Bros. remake.
I recreated the iconic first level World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros as a life size, first person AR experience using the Hololens.
When Nintendo released their original 1985 version, immersing your physical self to play as Mario while walking in New York’s Central Park would have sounded like science fiction. Not anymore.
This Is Awesome On So Many Levels
As can be seen in the above demonstration video, Abhishek Singh has recreated the iconic first level of Super Mario like never before. No longer are you restricted to the couch when playing this iconic Nintendo Entertainment System game. Now, Mario takes form as little old you! Yeah that's right, in the great outdoors, interacting with the real world in more ways than one.
Included in the game are the 8-bit obstacles, hazards and challenges to be overcome as you make your way through the Mushroom Kingdom of New York City! This version nearly has it all.
- Look up and jump to collect coins from special bricks
- Leap over perilous pits and water traps
- Eat a magic mushroom to power up and shoot fireballs
- Finish the level with the final heroic big jump and grab the flag to boost your final score.
The game does unfortunately have its limits. You can't, for example, jump down the the pipes to enter the subterranean maps. You could of course jump down a manhole to try your luck in New York's sewer systems. Hmm, actually, I'd leave that to our heroes in a half shell.
The amazing real-life adaptation is made possible using Microsoft's HoloLens. This technology takes the concept of mobile gaming far beyond the display of a mobile phone or Nintendo's #Switch. With Microsoft's HoloLens headset, holographic images are displayed allowing digital and physical realities to be merged into one augmented world.
Ideas Like This Will Continue Grow
Two other great prototype games already being developed are PokeLens (Pokemon) and HoloLems (Lemmings). Both represent the ever-evolving possibilities of Augmented Reality.
With PokeLens, developer KennyWdev has taken the idea of #Pokémon GO and enhanced the gameplay in several exciting ways. Like any decent Pokémon battle, you can either KO your adversary or choose to capture them. The options available in the demo include:
- Quick Attack
- Thunder Shock
- Iron Tail
At this stage the demo version is limited to only Pikachu and Pidgey, but the idea that you could strategize your battles with a series of attacks is a big step forward.
The Future Is Near
Facebook is also working on its next social innovation called Facebook Spaces, which uses the Oculus Rift to immerse our real-world interactions in the virtual.
According to the official Oculus website:
We’re firm believers that great VR experiences are made more powerful, memorable, and fun when they happen with other people. Now, your Facebook friends can join you—virtually—in Rift with Facebook Spaces! This new VR app takes some of the best features of Facebook and brings them into your VR space. Spend time with friends and family like you’re really there, step inside 360 videos, draw and play with Touch, and more.
One hurdle in the success of Facebook delving into the world of #VR is consumer ownership of their expensive #Oculus Rift headset. To make innovations such as these mainstream, there will need to be a mix of conventional wired devices and mobile alternatives like the HoloLens already in households.
Over time, as these experiments start to form into an intuitive, practical product, the application of #AR will hopefully be cautiously applied. Let's face it, once implemented, human interactions will never be the same. Without delving into all the scary implications, for now, let's just imagine the positive aspects of sun, exercise and Super #Mario Bros.
What other games do you think would be perfect for the HoloLens? Sound off in the comments below.