The Playstation Vita has been generating a lot of buzz in the gaming industry because of its use of augmented reality technology. The small handheld console will be able to make games much more immersive by allowing players to interact with real world environments while playing games. While the Vita may change the way people play games, researchers from the Japan Institute of Science and Technology are attempting to take augmented reality to a new level.
A team of scientists have taken Sony’s wildly popular futuristic racing series WipEout and constructed a miniature racetrack that makes use of both augmented reality and quantum levitation. Small racing vehicles are suspended in the air with small electromagnets that are embedded throughout the track. The vehicles are pushed forward with liquid nitrogen. Scientists can control the path that these vehicles take as long as they remain on the track.
When the track is viewed through a smart phone equipped with an augmented reality application, the vehicles become a bit flashier, leaving behind vapor trails and other virtual eye candy that is associated with the WipEout series. Real-world gaming is beginning to grow in popularity, especially as augmented reality technology becomes more advanced. While the gaming industry may be decades away from incorporating the techniques used by scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology, developers are certainly showing more interest in taking gaming to a new level.