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Hex3 AppTag Laser Blaster turns iPhones and Androids into augmented reality laser tag gun sights (hands-on)

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
September 12, 2012
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Nerf's doing it, and so is Hasbro, but there's plenty of room for other folks in the laser tag market, and Hex3 is a startup looking to get in on the action. Called the AppTag Laser Blaster, it combines old school IR-based laser tag with new school augmented reality. Like its aforementioned competition, the gun uses your Android or iPhone (yes, that includes the 5) and a companion app. The app turns your phone into a HUD when playing with friends or an AR window when you're shooting solo.

Gallery: Hex3 AppTag Laser Blaster hands-on | 9 Photos

Where AppTag differs is in how the pistol communicates with your phone. It uses a proprietary high frequency audio signal that requires no pairing or other similar procedures -- you simply load up the app, clamp it to the gun and you're good to go. Additionally, AppTag's removable pistol grip is attached to the gun via a rail mount. That means the system can be attached to existing Nerf weapons and even real firearms should you be so inclined, plus there's a corded pressure switch that you can affix to the trigger of any gun. For now, there are a handful of games included in the app, but Hex3 is releasing an SDK so that developers can get creative building their own using the blaster's four buttons, trigger and reload switch. Interested? AppTag's currently up for pre-order at $59 bucks a pop, with shipping slated to start in 4-6 weeks. Before you part with any hard earned cash, however, check out our video after the break to see in action.

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