Swept up in the World Cup craze and have a hankering to hone your ball-handling skills? You don’t need a field, cleats, shinguards or even a ball to do so — all you need is an iPhone and a $0.99 app called ARSoccer.
Augmented reality (aka using a device to overlay digital information onto our view of the world) is often discussed as a means for accessing local information or embedding contextual advertising. ARSoccer is a bit more simple and fun — more like playing on a Wii.
To use ARSoccer, you open the app while standing and hold it at about waist level, with the camera pointed at your feet. Your missioin is to keep a virtual soccer ball bouncing on the screen by actually kicking with your feet. It’s sort of like full-body pinball.
The app, which was released yesterday, is enabled by an API released with Apple’s new iOS that gives developers access what the iPhone camera is seeing 30 times per second. That method is a lot more responsive than a previous workaround, which involved grabbing screenshots of the camera view, according to Chris Laan, who developed ARSoccer along with his brother Jason.
The Laan brothers run an independent development shop called Laan Labs, and they have a habit of dreaming up inventive apps, such as iVideoCamera, which enables video recording with effects even on older iPhones.
ARSoccer is $0.99 and requires iOS 4. Check out the video below to see how it works. Or you could always drum up a real soccer ball and go enjoy the summer weekend outdoors.
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