SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping. This was a system my team at Sony developed for mobile gaming devices. You look around an environment with the camera and it builds a 3D map. You can then use this map to place virtual objects in the environment or indeed warp the environment itself.
The table warping demo used the front and back touchscreen of the PlayStation Vita to interact.
While the team I managed developed this technology, I didn’t do any of the technical work myself. This was primarily developed by Antonio Martini, Simon Hall and Andrew Stoddart.
I created some interesting new user interface widgets using a camera. Most of the camera-based games we created did not require the player to hold a controller to play them so it was important that we could navigate menus without a controller too.
The first part of the video shows a “scroll bar” which could be moved with your hand. This suffered from the problem that it could be accidentally moved by someone standing behind it. The second part of the video is an attempt to get around this problem with a “dial controller” which only responds to circular motion.
Many camera based games tend to be quite unskilled. This was an attempt to make a game mechanic which required a lot of practice to master.
The game mechanic worked rather well. However, we never really got the head tracker reliable enough to use it. It isn’t enough to just track a head, you need to be able to detect when it has erroneously detected a spectator standing in the background too.
Before working on Wonderbook, I worked on EyePet. An augmented reality virtual Pet game for PlayStation 3.
The game was shipped with a “Magic Card” which was used to move objects in the game work around in 3D. This was before the PS Move controller was developed. The Magic card uses the fiducial marker system which was later used in Wonderbook. Since this was not tolerant to occlusion, the card had to be physical designed so it was always held without the players hands covering the marker.
At Computer Artworks I worked on two games. Evolve and The Thing.