Laser technology is turning the world into a virtual battlefield, where smartphones double up as laser tag guns. The first-player shooter called Father.IO uses augmented reality, a small infrared peripheral and your smartphone’s web capabilities to put you at war with people in your area and around the world.
This video game works via a keychain-sized laser emitter, called the interceptor, that you attach to the back of your phone, which has six highly sensitive, infrared receiving sensors. This allows Father.IO to offer full gaming immersion. The emitter has an impressive range of around 50 meters and almost no lag.
Francesco Ferrazzino, CEO and founder of Father.IO, describes how the world's first real-life first-person shooter works.
How did you come up with the idea to create this first-person shooter?
Well, I came up with the idea the first time that I got a smartphone with a camera. I thought it would be cool to use the smartphone camera to interact with other people and build a game on top of it. Everybody loved the idea but the technology at the time was not ready.
How does Father.IO work?
The interceptor, the device that allows you to enter the first-person shooter in real life, is the size of a keychain. This attaches to your smartphone, so that you can play a real life augmented reality first-person shooter, shooting up to 50 meters away, with a precise and well collimated hit-box.
We’ve implemented six highly sensitive, infrared receiver sensors, allowing Father.IO to offer unmatched, full gaming immersion. The interceptor sensors offer wide angles of reception (almost 90 degrees), both horizontally and vertically, so a shot can be detected from any direction or angle around your inceptor.
What do you need to play Father.IO?
To play the strategic gameplay of Father.IO you just need your smartphone and our app. To access the first-person shooter mode, you'll need to have the interceptor. In Father.IO, the interceptor will also give you the "right" to conquer and defend territories from enemy attacks.
What does the future hold for these kinds of real-life massive games?
We believe in the near future future most of the game will be played in real life. Technology is not ready yet. There is a lot of work to do. We decided to not over impose fictional characters over the reality, as people get badly disappointed by the awful user experience. But in the next two to three years, with the rise of next generation AR goggles (like Oculus rift, but for AR instead of VR), we can expect a huge step forward.