Pictured: The iKey AK-39 military wrist keyboard. It's a cyberpunk world.

Mind Pirate Seeks Billions in Augmented Reality Loot

on Wednesday, Jul. 17th

The "video" games of tomorrow may well look nothing like what we've grown accustomed to over the past forty years.

That's what the people at Mind Pirate, a silicon valley start up that–as Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander puts it–has just come out of "stealth mode with with $2.5 million in seed capital from two venture capital partners".

The interview with Mind Pirate founder Shawn Hardin paints a picture of a company that believes in the potential for games that use the full range of sensors in phones, tablets and the emerging wearables market.

The company is even creating a development platform, dubbed the Callisto Engine, for creating new experiences using mobile devices.

"It's designed to make as easy as possible the transition of game design from a touch-centric experience to one that embraces the unique dynamics of wearable tech, and the sensing capabilities of modern mobile design," Hardin tells Gamasutra.

The company's business plans seem to take us right into the–so far–troubled realm of Augmented Reality.

Alexander gets into the problems with AR experiences: so far most have been gimmicks designed to showcase hardware specs. Hardin's answers show that the Menlo Park company has been thinking these issues through.

My own sense is that wearables are going to be the hot frontier in the next few years of gaming. According to Alexander, Hardin project "$5.2 billion of new market value in the next four years for mobile augmented reality."

Beyond Hardin's predictions there are the advances being made in haptics, and some of the development going on with virtual reality experiences like the Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni platforms could translate into a design grammar for AR game developers as well.

Follow Noah Nelson on Twitter (@noahjnelson)


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