Ogmento is a gaming company dedicated to the creation of high-quality augmented reality games. Although AR games aren’t that rare – the 3DS does a few quite well and there are a number available on mobile phones – Ogmento is focusing on higher-end experiences. The demo above shows how they’re able to track targets in real time and, with a few button presses, have a tank fire into a crowd of luminaries including Will Wright and Bruce Sterling.
The company currently sells an AR game called NBA: King of the Court. The tank game, above, is a prototype.
The company is using a number of cool rendering technologies to make the AR experience more compelling. For example, the tank game includes an “x-ray” feature that will fill in space that is destroyed in the game, creating engrossing gameplay.
“This is the first time in history of mobile phones a technology like SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) is running in real time and in parallel to high-end rendering and reconstruction of the physical space,” said CEO Ori Inbar. “SLAM is a technique typically used by robots and autonomous vehicles to build up a map within an unknown environment (without a priori knowledge), while at the same time keeping track of their current location. It is now being understood in game play environments where the computer can drop in digital assets that understand their physical environment including surfaces, walls, etc.”
Inbar and his co-founder, Brian Selzer, have experience in gaming and augmented reality. Selzer worked with Fox, Activision, EA, and Marvel creating online and mobile content.
The company raised $7 million Series A in a round led by Chart Venture Partners with participation from CNF Investments, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, and other private investors.
As this demo shows, AR is more than just greasy kid’s stuff. Although it’s really hard to see where the space is headed, it’s clear that games like this one become more interesting once the entire environment becomes fully mapped and trackable. The added x-ray fun is just gravy.