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One major research and design activity in the lab is the design, prototyping, and studying of AR and MR games.  We are interested in any games that mix physical and virtual worlds, but are particular interested in those where the world plays a key role in the gameplay.  We are interested in fully immersive AR games (such as AR Facade), handheld AR games (such as BragFish), as well as outdoor games, projection-based games, and so on.

In our work, we are particularly interested in 3D registered AR games, and how tight integration between the physical and virtual worlds can be leveraged to create compelling game experiences.

In 2009, Qualcomm and the AEL have joined forces to establish the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio, a research and design center aimed at pioneering new advancements in mobile gaming and interactive media. The game studio will build upon Qualcomm’s augmented reality platform and related graphics technologies to produce new application concepts and prototypes. In collaboration with Professor Tony Tseng and his students from the Interactive Design and Game Development program at Savannah College of Art and Design, the Game Studio will combine the skills and creative insight of students with expertise in augmented reality technology, game development and the arts.

The goal of the studio is to explore the potential of handheld AR as a platform for new kinds of gaming and entertainment experiences.



ARCraft is a real-time AR strategy game. Users compete against each other in their “real life” environments, using virutal military units. Using head tracking and wand-based interaction, each player navigates his or her fighting force around obsticles while hunting for the enemy. Our research goal is to investigage how people can use AR to work …

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ARhrrrr is an augmented reality shooter for mobile camera-phones. The phone provides a window into a 3d town overrun with zombies. Point the camera at our special game map to mix virtual and real world content. Civilians are trapped in the town, and must escape before the zombies eat them! From your vantage point in …

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Art of Defense

Recent advancements in mobile processors (CPUs and GPUs) have enabled researchers to explore 3D augmented reality applications on handheld devices. Art of Defense (AoD) is a novel AR game for a commodity phone (the Nokia N95). The goal of Art Of Defense is to explore game design and interaction techniques that are well suited to …

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Game settings


The project of BragFish is the starting point of AEL’s effort on exploring the space of hand-held AR games. Our design ideas was inspired by the affordance of augmented technology, which makes the shared physical and social space between families and friends become the game space. There are several interesting designs involved in the game, …

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Butterfly Effect

The motivation for this project is to create a puzzle game to be played in augmented reality, utilizing the strengths and weaknesses of that media. While the AEL is not the first lab to create an AR game, past efforts have largely been adaptations of existing video games. These adaptations, while technically interesting, generally fail …

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Child playing PuppyPlus

Games for Education

One particular focus of the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio has been educational games. Augmented reality has the potential to revolutionize education through experiences that engage students’ motivations, appeal to multi-modal learning styles, and increase possibilities for social collaboration. We are investigating the design of AR-based education through three projects.

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NerdHerder is a causal mobile game that involves motion-based puzzle solving. The game’s premise is that you are hired as an IT manager, and your job is to use “management skills” to get the unruly nerd employees back to work in their cubicles. The core game mechanic relies on the physical position and movement of the handheld device …

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Façade and AR Façade

AR Façade

AR Façade is an augmented reality version of the acclaimed desktop-based interactive drama, Façade. Few entertainment experiences combine interactive virtual characters, non-linear narrative, and unconstrained embodied interaction. In AR Façade players move through a physical apartment and use gestures and speech to interact with two autonomous characters, Trip and Grace. Our experience converting a desktop …

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