Play laser tag in the real world with this smartphone attachment

Oh, and it uses augmented reality too.

Nicole Lee, @nicole
03.05.17 in Mobile
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    Playing laser tag is fun, but in order to do so, you have to go to a special venue, get specialized equipment and basically block off the entire day. With Proxy42's Inceptor, however, you don't have to. This little accessory combined with a game called Father.io essentially changes any smartphone into a mobile laser tag machine, without the need for a plastic toy gun attachment.

    The device was funded on Indiegogo last year, but is just now heading into production. It has an infrared receiver and transmitter, a battery, plus a slew of different sensors that promise low latency as you're running around dodging tags. It also has an LED to let you know whose team you're on. The app, on the other hand, essentially uses your phone's camera to help you see the world around you, and then it overlays graphics like target crosshairs and how many points you've scored.

    We tried it out for a little bit at GDC 2017 in San Francisco, running around the perimeter of the Moscone Center. The app was definitely still in beta though, and accuracy seemed to be a little off. I also didn't like it that I never knew how many hit points I had left and I couldn't really tell how "hurt" my opponent was either. The folks behind Proxy42 tell me they're still working on the app, and that the Inceptor could potentially be used with other games too.

    Still, smartphone-powered laser tag is not a bad idea. I liked the augmented reality aspect of it -- channeling Pokemon Go here a little -- in that you could actually "see" your target in real life and fire at him or her. The fact that my screen flashed red when I "died" was a nice touch too.

    You can pre-order the Inceptor on Indiegogo for $50 for a two-pack, or if you prefer, you'll be able to buy them individually for $30 apiece from Brookstone later this year.

    Click here to catch up on the latest news from GDC 2017!

    Raised in the tropics of Malaysia, Nicole arrived in the United States in search of love, happiness and ubiquitous broadband. That last one is still a dream, but two out of three isn't bad. Her love for words and technology reached a fever pitch in San Francisco, where she learned you could make a living writing about gadgets, video games and the internet. Truly, a dream come true. Other interests include baseball, coffee, cooking and chasing after her precocious little cat.

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