Google Launches Ingress: An Augmented Reality Game

By Sumit Passary | Nov 17, 2012 01:12 PM EST

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On Thursday, Nov. 15, Niantic Labs, Google's app team, released a new multi-player augmented reality game, Ingress, for Android smartphones.

Augmented Reality is a new technology which blends virtual imaging into video stream of a mobile device's camera - in real time, allowing users to turn their real-world location into a virtual world.

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Google describes the game as "A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us." Players play as either the "Enlightened" or the "Resistance". The Enlightened want to embrace the power that can be gained from the energy. While the Resistance aim to defend and protect what is left of humanity.

Gamers have to move through the real world with their Android smartphone and the game to find and tap the sources of this mysterious energy. The users will have to obtain objects to aid in the quest, deploy tech to capture territory, and form alliances with other players playing the game to advance the reason of either the Enlightened or the Resistance.

Augmented games are getting popular with many other games which use the latest in technology.

"We strongly believe that Augmented Reality is a promising idea which can enhance the player's gaming experience by providing exciting new ways to control his actions, through position and 3D movement," noted Mobile Augmented Reality.

Mobile Augmented Reality further says "Despite their limited computation power, we think handheld devices are the best choice if we want to provide a truly immersive Augmented Reality experience, as most of these devices have a camera on their back, just behind the screen, which is the only way to achieve see-through effect at mass-market cost."

The game is currently in close-beta; however, interested gamers can request an invite from and then download the game from Google Play store. The 22MB file is free to download and requires Android 2.3 and up.

Have you played an Augmented Reality game? Will you want to give a try to Ingress?

Check out the game video below.

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