augmented reality

Mossad is an interesting Windows Phone 8 title that incorporates your Windows Phone location services into an augmented reality spy game. You are assigned various missions that are location based and basically involves locating or hiding virtual items.

The Windows Phone 8 game was recently updated to version 1.0.05 that changes the game’s title from Mossad to Super Agent. The change was brought about to avoid any confusion with the Israeli Mossad.

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This new app we’re writing about is either really cool or really creepy. Alphega for Windows Phone shows the status updates and check-ins near you on a map. Updates from social networks that take place in your vicinity will appear in the real direction relative to you. The app is currently in open beta and it’s also available on Android devices.

Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and walkthrough.

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On New Year’s Day, we wrote about a recent App Campus game released for Windows Phone 8: Mossad, from Israel-based indie developer GreenShpits. Mossad marries location-based gaming with searching for virtual items in the real world via augmented reality, something you don’t see all that much on Windows Phone.

While Mossad’s unique gameplay made the game noteworthy, a few major bugs tempered my enthusiasm for it. The developer took notice of our report, and quickly released a patch that addresses most of my concerns. Head past the break for post-update hands-on video and impressions!

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Location-based games and mobile are a great fit since smartphones usually have a GPS built in and people take their phones around everywhere. Why not work that into a game, right?

Israel-based developer GreenShpits recently released its own location-based/augmented reality game for Windows Phone 8 called Mossad as part of the AppCampus program. The word “Mossad” means “Institute” in Hebrew and is used to refer to the Israeli equivalent of the CIA. Mossad allows players to travel around playing spy and acting out their own missions, but some major bugs cut into the fun.

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We’re closing in on the end of 2013 and as we look back it’ll hard to argue that this wasn’t an incredible year for Windows Phone in terms of gaining new apps. There have been so many big name apps that joined the platform this year. But more importantly, startups have increasingly been turning their attention and resources to focus on Windows Phone. Blippar is a fairly young startup that’s just released their application for Windows Phone 8. Let’s check it out.

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When the majority of us think about Kinect, we think about shouting “Xbox, Play” to get our Netflix movie rolling or we picture ourselves waddling around the living room trying to get our groove on with games like Dance Central. If we step outside the world of gaming, we can see how the Kinect for Windows SDK can be used in retail. To help us imagine the world for Kinect outside of gaming, Microsoft has released a video showcasing how the high tech accessory can be used in various retail scenarios.

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Ever since Yelp (www.yelp.com) hit version 2.0 earlier this year, the company has been steadily trickling our new features to give it parity with its iOS and Android counterparts. Last night the latest version of the app, one for Windows Phone 7.x and one for 8, was bumped to version 2.0.0.3 and 2.5.1.4 respectively and it brings along with it a few nice changes.

There isn’t a detailed changelog though we do note you still can’t add full reviews. Instead, the app will save a “draft”, which you then need to finish on your own time on the PC. That's kind of a weak implementation, though we suppose it may weed out the insta-angry reviews that sometimes people bang away while still in the restaurant.

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We can’t help, but to love the United States Patent Office – it gives away too many good secrets. This week, a user at NeoGAF found a Microsoft patent filling for a pair of augmented reality glasses. The high-tech head mounted eye wear appears to be aimed at the gaming community and might just bring our favorite titles to the streets – literally.

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Today Microsoft released the Bing Translator App for Windows 8. Just like the Translation application on your Windows Phone, you can now easily convert between 40 different languages using your PC.

Bing Translator app is based on years of Microosft Research and advanced machine learning. The application can translate text, visual images, and content you find on the web. Simply type in what you would like translated, point the tablet’s camera for an augmented experience, or use Windows 8’s share charm to translate content anywhere on your PC.

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Today’s Xbox Windows Phone 8 release, Rayman Jungle Run might have left gamers who are stuck with Windows Phone 7 feeling left out in the cold. Hey, things aren’t as grim as they seem, old phone users! As it turns out, a second Xbox game came out today: Rabbids Go Phone. That’s right, two Ubisoft games in one day!

Rabbids Go Phone might make Windows Phone 7 users smile, but not the rest of us. For reasons unknown to science, Rabbids won’t run on Windows Phone 8. Considering that Microsoft’s new mobile OS has been available since November last year, it’s pretty silly to release an incompatible game at this point in time. Especially a really simplistic game like Rabbids.

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Technology project GlassUp plans to support Windows Phone. The idea is to turn a pair of glasses into a heads-up display, adding an extra display for smartphone owners. How does it work? The pair of glasses sports a projector to display information on the right lens at a resolution of 320x240. Facebook, Twitter, emails and SMS and more have been provided as examples. 

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Here’s a little secret that’s not many have caught on, but Nokia and Foursquare have tag teamed to re-do the official Foursquare app and no joke, it’s quite awesome. It’s the Foursquare app that Windows Phone deserves (we still love 4th & Mayor, but official apps should set the bar themselves).

Nokia released a self branded Foursquare app last year, which differed very little, but now it's clear the two were already collaborating for something bigger.

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Augmented reality is both fun and a useful way for software to interact with what's presently visible in the real world. It's advanced technology that really brings hardware to life. A perfect example of use is Nokia's own City Lens app that enables users to look up POI (points of interest) while walking down any given street. All locations are displayed on-screen as the camera is panned across. But where has augmented span from?

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We've followed the development of Pictures Lab, by René Schulte fairly closely since it was unveiled to be updated for Windows Phone 8. The latest release adds more functionality, applies performance improvements and more for users to take full advantage of. While the app itself sports Lens support in Windows Phone 8, Schulte has released Face Lens on the Windows Phone Store.

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Xbox 360 owners who migrated to Windows Phone have long lamented the lack of a proper Halo mobile game. Sure, we have Halo WayPoint and its SmartGlass-style connectivity with Halo Reach, but Microsoft has yet to show us the proper love of an actual Halo videogame. Hey, pretty soon that’s going to change… Sort of… Thanks to Halo 4: King of the Hill, an upcoming augmented reality app developed by AR specialist Ogmento and sponsored by 7-Eleven and Mountain Dew. Yup.

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Although AOL still gets jeers from those who think of the early internet days, the fact of the matter is they’re a huge media conglomerate who owns Moviefone, Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch and more.

The other fact is this: AOL Entrance the app is pretty damn awesome. No joke. It’s powerful with some of those above services (especially good since the Huffington Post app is MIA), has music streaming built in (including Shoutcast support) and probably the killer feature: augmented reality for finding movies around you.

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The same crew at NokiaGang who brought the earlier video OIS test with the Lumia 920 have a short video showing off the matte-black version.  The video itself doesn't reveal too much, though we have seen less of the all-black variation of the 920 since Nokia seems to focus on yellow for most product shots.

Interestingly, the handler does get the privilege of magically swiping to the right to see the programs list. Shocker, it's the same as Windows Phone 7 though we do quickly see a Transfer my Data app in that list. The program is never launched and we're unsure if this is part of the cloud-backup solution for saving app data that we showed in the SDK video or if this is a Nokia app to further augment that service (e.g. from any other smartphone).

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London Travel Live updated with augmented reality

London Travel Live is a useful app for those who either frequently roam London or are simply visiting for the day. Sporting useful features that guide users around the big smoke make it a requirement for anyone who doesn't wish to get lost. We last covered the app back in April when version 3.1 was released into the wild. Now we're back with news of 4.0 reaching Windows Phone owners.

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