Augmented Reality On The DSi

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Mobile Insider Steve Smith about the future of augmented reality for games.  We covered near every aspect of the topic (or so I thought), from the practicality of certain technology implementations, to the PlayStation Eye.

I think we failed to discuss the impact the Nintendo DSi would bring to the space, though.  This news item about  Ghostwire, a Swedish game that will use the camera on the DSi to provide an augmented reality "ghost hunting" experience, caught me by surprise.  Though it makes sense -- the DSi is a logical choice for an augmented reality game.  It has two cameras, Wi-Fi, two screens, a touch interface, and the hardware capabilities are uniform across all devices (unlike the mobile AR market).

So that's cool, but many of my reservations about the general AR gaming possibilities hold up here as well.  The tech is just too finicky to see it being well received in a production game.  I do think the future looks quite bright for augmented reality as a technology; heck, its future's so bright I've gotta wear shades.  But for the present, well, it just gives off an eerie glow.

Where I think we'll see the DSi's camera shine in the near future is with real world 2D codes or images being used to enhance in-game elements.  But I'm skeptical we'll see a high quality, real-time AR experience on the DSi before Nintendo's next generation of portable is released.  While I wish the best to Ghostwire, I have a sneaking suspicion that the name is more prophetic than it intends.

3 comments about "Augmented Reality On The DSi ".
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  1. Hugh Simpson from WOW! Presentation, June 1, 2009 at 10:20 p.m.

    We had wanted to use AR for our new Southern Music Hall of Fame and went to visit Georgia Tech's Center for AR. There Blair MacIntyre showed us the ultimate headset and a AR game they had developed in the lab. It was AWESOME and I learned very soon that headset which was a beta model would costs me right now $25,000!

    Well I think we will wait for a while before we install AR at the SMHF.


  2. Josh Lovison from Josh Lovison Consulting, June 11, 2009 at 6:59 p.m.


    My guess would be that by the time the fifth generation iPhone rolls around (i.e. two years at the current pace), you might see something along the lines of a AR experience powered on the iPhone and hooking into OLED glasses.


  3. James Lee from, June 12, 2009 at 4:34 p.m.

    Completely agree. Great article.

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