Nokia's AR Experiment Is Good Old-Fashioned Bird Kicking Fun

If you go down to Sydney's Martin Place today, you're sure for a big surprise. But not in the sense of having random bears attack you demanding picnic baskets. You're more likely to get swarmed by Angry Birds as part of Nokia's promotional campaign for the Lumia 800. The setup, part of a nationwide tour dubbed "Nokia Live" is designed to show off Nokia's Music, Drive and Marketplace Windows Phone 7 apps.

On the drive side, there's an AR driving experience; on the music side a chance to dance with a virtual Timomatic. Nokia got Timomatic (from So You Think You Can Dance and Australia's Got Talent) to record a range of dance moves so that consumers could have an AR-assisted dance-off with him. Nokia had Timomatic on hand for the launch — which will also see the setup travelling to Brisbane's King George Square on Friday 23 and Melbourne's Federation Square on Saturday the 31 — but he won't be present except for the brief photo shoot today.

Marketplace is represented by a custom (and rather short) Angry Birds game that Nokia engaged Sydney-based digital agency VML — who then collaborated with Rovio — to develop. It's controlled via Kinect, and allows you to kick the birds in almost real time. I say that, because as the Kinect doesn't have the profiles of everyone standing in front of it, it's a little bit hit and miss. It's still good (if rather short) fun, though.

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