This project should be fuel to the thoughts of paranoid people who think that violent games like Quake turn players into bloodthirsty homicidal maniacs which can’t differentiate between game and reality anymore: ARQuake tries to merge Quake’s virtual world with the reality.
The player does not only move an avatar through a virtual world, but moves physically in the real world. Over a head mounted display evil monsters and props are inserted into this real world.
The videos at the project website show that ARQuake seems to be really working. Unfortunately, there still is some drawback: Lags. The system can’t detect the player’s movements in real time so monsters and objects are sometimes a little behind the real movements.
Nevertheless, ARQuake seems to be a beautifully weird project. I hope it’ll some day overcome it’s weaknesses and becomes available on affordable hardware (the current setup seems to be somewhere beyond 10’000 dollars)
In case anyone is wondering: ARQuake stands for Augmented Rreality Quake.
ARQuake was created in the Wearable Computing Lap of the University of South Australia. The project has a more serious background than just fragging monsters in the real world. The website www.tinmith.net shows more productive applications of the technology.
There you can also download the dissertation Interactive 3D Modelling in Outdoor Augmented Reality Worlds by Wayne Piekarski which contains many more details about this topic.