Augmented reality, so far: lotta buzz, little honey. Some window shopping, some historical photos - it's nice, but it doesn't really kick my arse into the fantastic, augmented future. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, though? That'll do it.
The virtual bots were on display at Qualcomm's Uplinq developers' conference in San Diego, running on Android 2.1 devices with Snapdragon processors. Though the app was created officially for Mattel, the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em owners, it was only done as a tech demo, and a spokesperson for the company said that they have no immediate plans to release it to the public. Perhaps someone should rock or sock him?
Says PocketLint, who did battle with the bots:
The robots can be manoeuvred around the target and, essentially, belt seven shades of rust out of each other, with the winner being the last one standing. Now, this kind of two-player action isn't especially new or different, but the way that each phone display uses both real-world and rendered visuals, scalable the closer you get to the mat, adds a level of immersion and physicality not usually associated with two-player mobile games.
The mat needn't be massive either. Thanks to intelligent mapping techniques, the application works equally as well on an A4 print out, albeit in a smaller way. And as the technology also uses the compass for location, you can move around the play area, with the 3D objects turning applicably.
Still, I'm not sure seeing your opponent's augmented head pop off will be quite as satisfying as the real thing. [Pocket Lint]