i3 - November/December 2017 - 17

Google and Apple Take
AUGMENTED REALITY
MAINSTREAM
Lenovo
Brings
Star Wars
into the
Real World

By John Gaudiosi

reality (AR) is now a reality, thanks to two of the
A  ugmented
biggest tech companies in the world. Google, which first

ventured into AR with Project Tango in 2014, is going all-in with
ARCore. Unlike Tango, which required manufacturers to equip
smartphones with specialized cameras and depth sensors, ARCore
is designed to work with new ASUS, Huawei, LG and Samsung
devices that run on Android Nougat 7.0 or higher, including the
Google Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy S8.
C TA . t e c h / i 3

Ahead of the
release of Star
Wars: The Last
Jedi, Lenovo
has teamed up
with Disney
Interactive to
launch an augmented reality
gaming platform. The $200
bundle comes
packed with an
AR-ENABLED
MIRAGE
HEADSET
that's compatible with
Android and
iOS smartphones, a
detailed replica
Luke Skywalker
lightsaber and
tracking beacons. Gamers
can download
the Star Wars:
Jedi Challenges
app and play
a trio of AR
games at
launch, including lightsaber
battles against
the likes of
Darth Vader,
Kylo Ren and
Darth Maul,
a holochess
game inspired
by the original
film, and

a tower defense
strategy game
that recreates
battles like
Hoth.
"Star Wars
has always been
based in AR
from the first
movie 40 years
ago with the
Holochess
game Luke
Skywalker plays
aboard the Millennium Falcon,
to the holograms of
Princess Leia
and Obi-Wan
Kenobi," Lenovo
Vice President
of Global Consumer Marketing Matt Bereda
explains.
Lenovo
employs insideout tracking
cameras in the
headset to pick
up the light
from the tracking beacons to
give the player
a fixed point
when battling
virtual enemies,
while leveraging the light
from the lightsaber to add the
virtual glowing

beam to the
physical controller. Bereda
said the process
is very complex,
but results in
an experience
that's as fun to
watch someone
play as it is to
play firsthand.
Players can
view their surroundings
through the
visor, while
spectators can
see the reflection of the
gameplay on
the outside of
the visor. "While
the launch
content isn't
based on
The Last Jedi,
Bereda said
because this
is an application, Disney
Interactive can
send updates
to increase the
number of
experiences.
"If there's
a new bad
guy who shows
up in the next
movie, they
could make an
appearance
in the game,"
Bereda
explains.
"There's an
opportunity to
extend this app
to be richer
over time
through adding
new levels,
characters and
experiences."

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

17


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i3 - November/December 2017

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i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2017 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2017 - 2
i3 - November/December 2017 - 3
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