Forget Bad Piggies, check Angry Birds in augmented reality

Angry Birds AR

Rovio may have launched its Angry Birds follow up, Bad Piggies, on Thursday, but I’m actually more impressed by a version of Angry Birds that’s a proof of concept. PendAR, a company that specializes in augmented and virtual reality solutions, created its own vision of what mobile gaming might look like in the future.

Here’s how it works. Using an integrated camera, a mobile device can “see” the world around it. PendAR’s technology looks for a certain image — in this case, a printed Angry Birds startup screen — and then superimposes the virtual game on top of the physical image. The game then becomes 3-D-like and part of the gamer’s actual environment. Take a look:

VentureBeat caught up with PendAR CEO, Mojtaba Tabatabaie, and learned that this version of Angry Birds isn’t coming to an app store near you. That makes sense, since the original game’s development shop, Rovio, would surely — and correctly — accuse PendAR of taking certain illegal liberties with the Angry Birds franchise.

So don’t expect to play Angry Birds with your home or office in the background. However, this technology demo has me thinking that we should see more augmented reality games in the future. Mobile device hardware is quickly improving to the point where any flagship phone can handle a virtual reality app with ease.

To date, the only type of apps to truly benefit from such technology are generally navigation-based, showing virtual directions and point of interest information on screen. We’ve gone from 2D to 3D gaming graphics some time ago, so what’s the next big step? Augmented reality games on mobiles makes sense to me; at least until we can project interactive holographic games, that is.

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