Throwing energy balls against other players or facing a final boss together, this and more is what the sport created by the Japanese company Meleap proposes.
The Superhuman Sports Society, a Tokyo-based group of game researchers and designers, has certified 12 new sports since its inception, including Hado, the sport developed by the Meleap company that consists of throwing and dodging energy waves, similar to Dragon Ball or Street Fighter. All this thanks to an augmented reality viewer composed of an iPhone and a sensor for our wrist. To play Hado we need a physical space where teams of players are placed and gestures to launch attacks, while the viewers can see on a screen what is really happening, thanks to another iPhone that shows the action in mixed reality through a screen.
The augmented reality viewer basically consists of a lightweight case similar to that of any Cardboard, but without sides to have peripheral vision of what is happening, and in which an iPhone is attached whose camera captures what happens in front of the player. In addition to the visor, the players are also equipped with a wrist bracelet that integrates inertial sensors and communicates via Bluetooth with the mobile to follow the movement of the hands and gestures. Meleap plans to integrate a touch surface into the bracelet, such as an iPod Touch, so that while we play we can make adjustments such as the speed of the balls or exchange in-game items.
In order to position players with a normal camera, the walls contain codes with geometric patterns that the camera detects. Each code has a preprogrammed position, so the player’s position is determined by the size and inclination of the captured code image, and the orientation relative to the energy ball is correctly superimposed on the player’s field of view, seen through the iPhone camera. The perspective of each user in the augmented world is independently aligned with the real world, and the synchronization between players, which allows multiplayer play, is carried out via Wi-Fi.
Meleap, which offers its application for venues and theme parks, currently has more than 90 facilities that have Hado. In addition, various championships are being held and there are several modalities such as the Hado Kart, where the objective is the same but on wheels, and the Hado Monster Battle, where players face an enemy in raid mode. The package consisting of 4 viewers with iPhone, plus the walls and everything you need has a cost of around 15,000 dollars.