Monday, June 9, 2014

AR Whack-a-Mole

A direct link to the above video is at

Last entry we talked about the Live Interactions we created for Riderville, an amazing event you had to see to believe. The above video recaps those three interactions. As part of the festivities in the days leading up to Grey Cup 2013, tens of thousands of people converged on Evraz Place here in Regina, Saskatchewan, where football teams from across Canada hosted their own convention rooms for excited fans. It was the home team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who hosted "Riderville": the biggest and most in-demand room of all, filled to capacity every evening with long lineups waiting to get in.

Inside, there were rock bands playing on stage, marching bands playing on the dance floor, cheerleaders showing off their choreographed routines to pounding techno music, and party people shoulder to shoulder throughout this gigantic space. And Riderville Whack-a-Mole, an augmented reality game created by Talking Dog for the event was one of the popular activities.

Here's a movie we looked at last time that gives you an idea of how the game was played.
A direct link to the above video is at

Right now we're hard at work on a set of Augmented Reality experiences that will be touring throughout Saskatchewan for the next six months, we'll give you a look at that in an upcoming entry. Meanwhile, let's stop and think about the simple idea of Riderville Whack-a-Mole and how it relates to the idea of Augmented Reality computer interface design.

Back in 2002, Spielberg's Minority Report gave what for many people was the first glimpse of the possibilities of an AR interface - you wave your hands in the air and the computer responds to your actions. It seemed so impossibly futuristic back then! More recently, we've seen Tony Stark using much the same kind of an interface in the Iron Man movies. Our game, simple as it is, shows the start of that same big idea, using nothing more than a $700 Mac Mini and a first generation Microsoft Kinect. No super-computers required! Did Tom Cruise's pre-cogs see that one coming? Hard to say.

Where do we go from here? Tell us what you need. "Wave your hands in the air and have something happen on the screen" is such an open-ended concept that the possibilities really are endless. And integrating multiple experiences like the ones shown in the video that started this entry is one of our goals. Think of this: already we have an interface that responds to your actions, no need to be holding a device in your hands. Voice interaction adds flexibility. And being able to collect input from devices anywhere in the world and show the results in real time adds yet another layer of possibility.

If you come to Talking Dog, we currently have well over a dozen different kinds of live interaction that we can show you, all running on inexpensive devices like the Mac Mini, a tablet, or a smart phone. We love figuring out solutions that use these kinds of live interactions, whether that be for education, entertainment or that wow factor that attracts a crowd. How can we help your company grow with these fantastic new tools? Give us a call and let's find out.

Yours augmentedly,

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