Augmented Reality Thing No. 3: Pac-man through the Ages

For those of us who have fond memories of Pac-man from the 80s, on our Atari, Commodore or whatever you will be pleased to hear that it is also making a comeback but this time in augmented reality. Indeed AR Pac-man has been in the pipeline for a while, firstly an early incarnation from the National University of Singapore was available some years ago as part of a research project. I remember seeing it at a conference in Vienna – they set up a small sort of tent like maze and asked people to walk around it at a conference. As you can see the graphics by today’s standard seem a little basic but the idea is the same.

An intermediate step – this time not outdoors but on an augmented game board. Personally I think this looks rather interesting as it provides another way to play the game, without the need to look too silly by running through the streets. For those interested in the underlying technology it seems to be built using the Studierstube AR platform from TU Graz. This is another platform I have seen used extensively within a project I used to work on and it is certainly worth checking out.

These days of course the graphics have improved, devices have got smaller and we no longer need to wear huge visors or carry around a backpack containing a PC.  A newer version below uses the Layar AR platform in what the developed claimed back in 2011 was the “first multi-player” Layar game. Rather than requiring a stylish headset and a collection of wires (which is usually enough to scare off most passers-by) you can run it on your Android or IOS device.

I haven’t had a chance to play the above game, so if anyone has please let me know how it went.


About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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