The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Name: Ball Invasion
Quick Pitch: Ball Invasion for iPad 2 uses simultaneous localization and mapping technology to build real-time 3D maps of the environment as you move the iPad’s camera around.
Genius Idea: A 3D shooter game, set in the real world.
Adding the three-dimensional realm of what’s in front to you to a first-person shooter game could make for some pretty entertaining game play. Ball Invasion, an application [iTunes link] for iPad 2, promises just that.
Hold your device’s camera up to a flat surface with plenty of detail — a bookshelf or magazine for instance — and Ball Invasion will map out your surroundings and generate a playing field. You’re then tasked to shoot “malicious and cunning balls hiding in the real world,” with the challenge becoming more difficult with each progressive level.
Ball Invasion is the first product from Stockholm-based computer vision startup 13th Lab.
The startup specializes in simultaneous localization and mapping technology — not to be confused with run-of-the-mill augmented reality — in mobile environments.
“It lets you very accurately position your iPad 2 in 3D space and overlay stuff on reality without any known or printed visual markers, as is required in other solutions,” 13th Lab founder Petter Ivmark explains.
In layman’s terms, the technology turns your real world surroundings into the backdrop for interactive, 3D game play.
That said, 13th Lab has greater ambitions than being known as a cool app maker. The startup aims to create a platform for 3D game development and will make its technology accessible to other developers.
“Hopefully, this will spur a lot more innovation in computer vision,” Ivmark says. “We strongly believe that as computer vision and artificial intelligence evolve the camera will take over from GPS as the device’s most important sensor to understand, interpret and navigate the world.”
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
For more Startups coverage:
- Follow Mashable Startups on Twitter
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Subscribe to the Startups channel
- Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad
iPad 2 App Turns Your Real World Surroundings Into 3D Shooter Game
Jennifer Van Grove
Sat, 20 Aug 2011 03:19:22 GMT