Title: ARSoccer – Augmented Reality Soccer Game by Laan Labs
Platform: iOS 4.0 or later.
As I sat down to write this post, I reflected quite a bit on what 2013 will bring to the app market. Teens will of course continue to be interested in apps designed to kill time and connect with their peers, but augmented reality apps may be one of the most interesting and fastest growing trends. “Augmented reality” is a view of the real world modified by some technology enhancement. AR augments our physical experience with music, data, video, and other media.
Research cited by the FierceDeveloper blog estimates that AR sales may reach $5.2 billion by 2017. Many of these apps will be marketed to teen audiences. The same post mentions a great example; the new Taylor Swift AR app allows fans to scan an image of her latest album to launch videos or hear background information about songs. Last week, Linda posted about Dimensions–another app that augments reality. Other AR apps blend the real world with fun games. ARSoccer, the App of the Week, falls into this category.
The concept is quite simple. Use your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad’s camera to look at your shoes. The app will use the device’s camera to track the motion of your feet. Now juggle the virtual soccer ball and rack up the points. As the developers mention, ARSoccer is like Kinect or PS3 for your phone. It is a video game, but you move your body rather than pressing buttons to progress through the game.
The only weaknesses to ARSoccer revolve around hardware and environment limitations. Because the app relies on your device’s camera, game play can be affected by things like poor lighting or a cluttered floor (see the app’s recommendation to “Find a white floor with nothing on it!” at right). Some reviewers stated that it was easy to cheat with multi-colored flooring.
These type of short-comings seem to be common for other AR apps too. FierceDeveloper points out that the AR experience is affected by camera clarity, GPS, and digital compasses. Some smartphones “lack sufficient sensitivity to trigger an AR experience.” However, the hardware, like the technology is only getting better. As more and more developers and retailers explore AR, I think we will see increased interest from our teen patrons.
For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.