Network Middleware for Mobile and Pervasive Large Scale Augmented Reality Games



According to Mark Weiser in [1], “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”
According yet to Mark Weiser in [1], and his colleagues at Palo Alto Research some time ago, the idea of The Personal Computer itself is misplaced and the and that the vision of laptop machines, “dynabooks” and “knowledge navigators” is only a transitional step towards achieving the real potential of information tech-nology.
In the same article Weiser continues to argue that such machines can now truly make computing an integral, invisible part of people’s lives, and they were trying at Palo Alto Research to conceive a new way of thinking about computers, one that takes into account the human world and allows the computers themselves to vanish in the background.
Augmented reality tries to extend the real world with virtual objects while main-taining the computer in an assistive, unobtrusive role, thus trying to keep in line with the pervasive computing objective of invisibility[3].
Augmented Reality is a sub concept of Mixed Reality [4]. AR augments the real world with synthetic electronic data. Augmented Virtuality (AV) enhances the vir-tual world with data from the physical (real) world. Mixed reality is a term that covers a continuum from AR to AV.
An example project of Mixed Reality is exposed in [5] by the Mixed Reality Sys-tems Laboratory.
Both Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality are different than Virtual Reality, which is not pervasive at all (as we discussed in the previous section), and just de-prives the user from the real world, completely evolving it in a virtual world.
It is quickly becoming clear that entertainment will be one of the killer applica-tions of future wireless networks [6]. More specifically mobile gaming was pre-dicted to be worth more than 1.2 billions of American dollars in 2006 in the Unit-ed States market alone. However mobile applications faces issues that are different from fixed network applications, including fluctuating connectivity, network Quality of Service and host mobility.
In the times before computers existed, the games people played were designed and played out in the physical world with the use of real world properties, such as physical objects, our sense of space, and spatial relations [5].
Pre-computer day’s game interactions consisted of two elements: human to human interaction and human to physical world interaction. In the current times, due to their higher level of attractiveness to game players, computer games have become the dominant form of entertainment.
Computer games motivate the players by bringing them more challenge, curiosity and fantasy, which are the three main elements contributing to fun in games. They provoke curiosity because they are usually designed with an optimal level of in-formation complexity, they create fantasy by creating the illusion of the player be-ing immersed in an imaginative virtual world with computer sound and graphics, and they create challenge by having goals typically more interactive than tradi-tional games.
However, there is a also a new tendency in gaming called pervasive games,, where the real world is coming back to the computer entertainment field stressing the pervasive and ubiquitous nature of these games: Pervasive games are no longer confined to the domain of the computer (the virtual domain), but integrate the physical and social aspects of the real world.
Pervasive gaming is a relatively new field but we can already identify several unique types of pervasive games, each focusing on different aspects of the gaming experience.
To our knowledge, there is no specialized network middleware solution for large-scale mobile and pervasive augmented reality games, and we feel this is a field worth exploring. Not only pervasive technology is becoming more and more im-portant and its use widespread, but also pervasive games are beginning to be built and used by gamers all around the world. Augmented reality is an interesting con-cept for games and pervasive computing, bringing together the real world with a virtual world that exists only in the game. Enabling it in large scale brings true mobility to the solution, enabling the players to play alone or against one another wherever they are, as long as they are covered by the system. Building a network middleware to help build this pervasive and mobile large scale augmented reality game applications is important because in this way we hope to contribute with a solution that solves most of the problems these applications face in terms of soft-ware, excluding the ones related to graphic presentation.


Gaming, Augmented reality, Network middleware


Network Middleware for Mobile and Pervasive Large Scale Augmented Reality Games

Book Chapter

Handbook of Augmented Reality, Technologies and Applications, 26, pp. 541-588, Springer, July 2011

Cited by

Year 2013 : 1 citations

 Abraham G. Campbell, Levent Gorgu, Barnard Kroon, David Lillis, Dominic Carr, Gregory M.P. O’Hare, “Giving Mobile Devices a SIXTH Sense: Introducing the SIXTH Middleware for Augmented Reality Applications”, Proceedings of ISMAR 2013 - IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, Adelaide, Australia, 1-4 Oct. 2013, DOI: 10.1109/ISMAR.2013.6671787.