Augmented reality shooter shows the future of camera-enabled handhelds

Augmented reality (AR) has mostly been limited to research labs and the occasional cool webcam trick, but it's slowly becoming more plausible as a means for new forms of portable games. We saw one such title -- Sony's Invizimals for PSP -- at E3 and were wowed by its insertion of CG objects into "reality" using the system's camera add-on. Now a tech demo from Georgia Tech Augmented Environments Lab and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD-Atlanta) gives us a glimpse at even more possibilities for these games on devices such as iPhone, PSP and Nintendo DSi.

Titled ARhrrr (geddit?), the game is a zombie shooter in which a flat tabletop map produces a cityscape seen on the handheld (in this case a prototype device from Nvidia). The city's populated with zombies, the handheld can be moved around at any angle and the overlayed city rotates accordingly. The idea behind the demo is that players are controlling a helicopter flying above the outbreak and can shoot zombies by tapping the screen. It's limited, but nonetheless really cool.

We've popped the demo footage after the break to rock your non-augmented reality. It's pretty impressive. So, what implimentations of AR on handhelds would you like to see?

[Thanks, Michael!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.