If you thought Pokemon Go! was the bee’s knees, wait until you get a look at Portal optimized for augmented reality (AR). It’s clear now that the classic 3D puzzle game was made to become AR capable, and it didn’t even know it.
In the AR version of the game, the player is given a device that can create portals through which you can teleport a Companion Cube across your living room. The device shoots blue or orange portals onto any surface, and the portals appear with the help of AR glasses, in this case, Microsoft’s HoloLens headset. You can pick up and drop your cube into a portal and watch it move realistically according to the laws of physics. The HoloLens can even recognize obstacles like stairs so the cube bounces down as if it were actually there with you.
For those difficult to impress, no, the portals don’t let humans walk through walls. Unfortunately, that technology isn’t available…yet.
The technology required to play this game does not come cheap. Microsoft is now selling its HoloLens hardware starting at $3,000. The device is said to go beyond AR and inch into the realm of mixed reality. Microsoft says that “[i]n mixed reality, people, places, and objects from your physical and virtual worlds merge together in a blended environment that becomes your canvas.”
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of the fun and innovation made possible with mixed reality.