Charting unknown territory is definitely nothing new for the Danes. Danish companies such as Vestas, Lego, and Unity3D are conquering their industries in a way that would make their viking ancestors proud. Now entering this group is Playingmondo, a platform for creating and interacting with location based experiences.
For those not familiar with location-based services, the Playingmondo app, available for iPhone and Android, uses the built-in GPS in the mobile phones to allow users to interact with digital content created around real world locations. This content can be viewed in a variety of ways including augmented reality.
Already there are numerous Playingmondo playgrounds all over Denmark and in other countries, and even though a majority of the experiences are games, there are also experiences focused on health, education, tourism, and cultural heritage.
The Playingmondo website is where you can join a community to find virtual playgrounds near you, meet up with your team mates, see where they are playing, and even challenge them. MondoBuilder, a feature on the site, allows you to build your own playgrounds, buy games others have created, or make a game from available templates. The best thing about MondoBuilder is that you don’t need to know any coding to create an experience or game. It is a perfect tool for teachers, curators, or others with no programming skills.
A very nice feature of the platform is the variety of POIs (Points Of Interest) that can be created. In addition to displaying traditional media (images, text, sound,video), these 2D or 3D geo-located action points can link to documents, utilize the phone’s accelerometer so you can punch enemies, and even connect to Lego Mindstorms NXT via bluetooth for interaction and gaming with real world robots. Pretty cool huh?
Even though Playingmondo goes beyond what a lot of other location based gaming platforms offer, these folks have decided to push the boundaries even further. On my last trip to Copenhagen, I got a chance to visit the Playingmondo offices and got a firsthand look at an exciting new feature they will be releasing here in the U.S. very soon, the first ever mixed reality gaming platform.
That is right, a platform for creating mixed reality experiences. But what does this mean? It means that Playingmondo now connects a browser based web3D environment of a real world location (mirror world) with onsite mobile devices to allow virtual and onsite users the ability to interact with digital content and each other for a ‘mixed reality’ experience. To go one step further, the web3D environments can be controlled using the Microsoft Kinect.
I can’t go into detail yet on some of the cool mixed reality examples they have coming out throughout the year, but I will definitely continue to cover this innovative platform that is going to make the year unlike any ever before for web3D, mirror worlds, and augmented reality. Like Google’s Body Browser, you heard it here first folks, the world is now our mixed reality playground.