Companies are finding all kinds of ways to capitalize on augmented reality technology, ranging from Starbucks seasonal promotions, to creatures leaping out of t-shirts, to television hosts being your own personal tour guide in museums.
But one of the most innovative (not to mention fun) uses we've seen for it yet has to be this home-use laser blaster, which turns your iPhone, iPod or Android smartphone into a laser tag battle arena.
Now, I've had my heart broken by at-home laser tag technology before: somehow, those vests and guns that arrived in a big box on Christmas morning never lived up to the experience of running for your life in a black light-decorated renovated warehouse. The App Tag Laser Blaster, however, looks like it takes out the biggest problem that previous at-home versions had: you don't need to aim at a tiny target in order to land a hit. Check out this promo video by Hex 3 to see the laser blaster in action:
To use the blaster, players download the free AppTag app, attach it to the App Tag Laser Blaster (or other toy gun that includes an accessory rail), then choose either a multiplayer game to play with friends, or one of the single-player target games.
Instead of using an actual laser, the app uses a focused infrared beam and sensor, coupled with the blaster's IR sender and receiver to register hits and tags. The HUD on the screen shows an interface similar to many first-person shooter games, including score, health and ammo, as well as any "power-ups" available in the play area (virtually, of course).
Who would love it: Both kids and adults who are looking for a way to replicate the laser tag experience at home, or who have grown tired of trying to hunt down NERF darts behind the couch after epic shoot-outs
How much it costs: $59.99 CAD (plus shipping — to Ontario, it's an extra $10)
Where to get it: On Hex 3's website, hex3.co/products/apptag
Must-Have Monday is a new feature on the Yahoo! Canada News' Right Click blog, where we share a cool gadget each week. We're not paid to endorse any of these — it's just stuff we'd probably buy if someone handed us a pile of money.
Have a suggestion for next week? Contact us on Twitter at @yrightclick.
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