GPS + Google Android = Wi-Fi Army

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GPS + Google Android = Wi-Fi Army

WiFi ArmyWi2P Entertainment is developing a gaming application called Wi-Fi Army that combines GPS tracking, WiFi, cellphone, and a cellphone camera that allows you to play a game of "GPS laser tag" against other players. They claim to have used Android's ability to control a phone's GPS receiver to create the Augmented Reality game called Wi-Fi Army. You use your phone's GPS, WiFi, and Google Maps to track your opponent and shoot him. Though instead of using a laser to nail your opponent you use your camera's phone to take a picture of him.

The game figures out whether you've hit your opponent or not by recognizing the picture of him when you upload it to the Wi-Fi Army web server. Facial recognition obviously. Not sure how the server will score shots to the back of the head.

The way it works is that after registering, you can be contacted by any other player within a 300 foot radius, as the game works out your location and the location of any other players within this area. Essentially, it uses the limits of the WiFi range (300 ft) to detect other players and then sends out invites. You then select which player you want to play with, and if they accept, you're both sent pictures of each other, and the game begins, with each of you trying to be the first to take a photo of the other (effectively shooting them). Here's a video explanation:

The game software will feature a WiFi Battle Engine, Local GPS User Status, Account Upgrade Modules, and perhaps most importantly, Voice over WiFi. The site excitedly writes, "You're also able to keep up with the location of your opponent via Google Maps, which effectively turns your current location (such as a shopping mall) into a battleground. It's this that makes Wi-Fi Army an augmented reality game, turning a normal situation such as a shopping trip into a hunting game in which a previously random shopper (or more likely your friend) suddenly becomes your prey."

Here's another interesting quote:
Ethical considerations aside (do you really want to let yourself be effectively stalked by a complete stranger who may be take the whole idea of hunting down a stranger way too seriously, and not be content with simply taking your photo?!), Wi-Fi Army provides a novel use of mobile phones' location-aware abilities, and shows what can be done with location-based services when the whole mobile phone handset is opened up to software developers.

When can you get your real-world stalking game on? Well, according to Wi2P Entertainment, "Wi-Fi Army isn't released yet, but then nor is a Google Android-compliant mobile phone. As a first stab at using the potential of such an open platform, though, it shows real promise, and gives us a flavour of the type of new location-based services we can expect when Google Android handsets become available next year."

Further, they are currently working on “Phase II” of this project with Google which blends Virtual Reality with the Real World. Here's a cool conceptual example of how the game play would look like on the "Google Gphone":

Via Peter Whatanitch, lead application architect for W2Pi Studios

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