I’ve set myself a small challenge. I am attending the Over The Air event this Friday/Saturday. in theory, I’m manning the Microsoft stand and delivering a couple of sessions while I’m there. But, this is a codeathon event, so along with all the other delegates I thought I’d give myself a challenge to code up during the ‘small hours’.
Basically, I have a second session to deliver on the Saturday morning. Now, the chances of getting an audience to a session on Windows Mobile development (yawn) on a Saturday morning after everyone has been up all night coding their competition wining project is pretty slim.
So here is the plan. My second session is going to be on the application I am going to (hopefully) finish off over Friday night. I will be starting the app before Friday but I have so much to do a lot is going to be left to the Friday night.
What is the app? A-ha. I have decided to build an ‘augmented reality game’. Many years ago – circa 2004 - a chap called Joe Finney popped down from Lancaster University to give a short talk and demo to the MS department I was then working in. His talk was awesome – like, I’ve not forgotten it!! – primarily because he demonstrated ‘Real Tournament’, a computer game played in the real world using a Pocket PC wired to a GPS and some accelerometers – all mounted on a modified ‘Supasoaker’ :-D. The gist being, as you move around the real world, a virtual world mirroring the real world played out on the PDA screen. In this virtual world were monsters to slay, and treasures to collect.
I loved it. I even planned my own implementation of the electronics, but never got to build it. However, now our mobile devices are as good as Joe’s enhanced PDAs. They have GPS and G-Sensors. We have real world mapping services we can call upon, all we really need is the game logic and the points of interest data to locate treasures and monsters :-)
I doubt the Met will be chuffed if I start walking around London with a modified ‘Supasoaker gun’, so I’ll confine my game to the PDA device. But I have all sorts of grand ideas incorporating VoiP IVR applications and electronic graffiti for clues. The ability to zap opponents via BlueTooth as well as treasure hordes to collect and dragons to slay.
I’m looking to Windows Azure to provide me with a server platform (free at the moment!) together with the Bing Maps API (virtual earth free too) to provide detailed virtual world aerial views. Coupled with the hardware in my HTC Touch Pro 2 - its going to be awesome.
See you there.