Now that Google has fired the starting pistol for AR vision, we may well see many others jumping on board what seemed to be a flagging ship only a couple of months ago. Following on from Google’s video that set the web abuzz with chatter, lulz, and DIY versions, game developer Valve—who were responsible for Half-Life and an all-star list of FPS games—are now researching wearable computing for video games
Michael Abrash, a developer with the company, recently hinted at this in a blog post titled Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing. While there is no product directly mentioned, Abrash does discuss wearable computing and its implications:
What does a wearable UI look like, and how does it interact with wearable input? How does the computer know where you are and what you’re looking at? When the human visual system sees two superimposed views, one real and one virtual, what will it accept and what will it reject? To what extent is augmented reality useful—and if it’s useful, to what extent is it affordably implementable in the near future? What hardware advances are needed to enable the software? And much, much more—there are deep, worthy challenges everywhere you look (and I hope to be posting about some of them soon).
He then goes on to say that “the consensus was that investigating wearable computing was an experiment worth running,” but makes it clear that this in no way means an AR product will be forthcoming, spoilsporting with the line, “To be clear, this is R&D—it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever—so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3.” So yeah, no rumours, but still, if the company is looking into the prospect of hardware for AR gaming, others will no doubt follow. Plus, to further stir the pot, it was noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at Valve HQ this weekend. Collaboration on a new AR gaming system perhaps?
Remember when the Wii came out and everyone was all like"WHOA! This is crazy-future-madness!"? Well, hopefully we’ll be saying the same thing in a few years when the first wearable computers for gaming come out and we’re slaughtering zombies as they virtually clamber through our windows and doors.