If you thought the augmented reality of Pokémon GO was cool on your phone, you’re in for a treat.
A few developers with a Hololens headset have figured out a way to get the title working on Microsoft’s augmented reality head mounted display. This is actually quite compelling, as it makes the title all the more realistic by not having to hold a phone in front of your face in order to play the game. The demo even shows the user using their hands to toss Pokéballs at the augmented Pokémon in the game. Cool, right? David Robustelli, Head of Digital at CapitolaVR commented on the experience of porting the title to the Hololens.
We were actually amazed how easy it is to launch an app for this device and create and optimize the mechanics and interaction. The build was created in Unity with the HoloLens SDK.
We knew Unity was an extremely useful game engine for aspiring developers, but seeing it used with such ease to port a title like this is fantastic.
Robustelli goes on to talk about new features they are looking to add in to the port.
For now the Pokémon are randomly generated within a mapped environment. We are now focusing on how to use different gestures for specific interactions. For example, like opening your inventory or activating your map and zooming in and tilting your map. The thing is there is a huge amount of possibilities that are unexplored and which could work for games like these. A more challenging thing is how to access the Google Maps API and enabling it within a running app. But I’m sure that in the upcoming years when more and more people are developing for this hardware also more things will be standard to use in tools and apps.
While the company doesn’t have any current plans to work with Niantic, the creators of the title to make it officially available for the Hololoens HMD, it’s still awesome to see that this type of thing is even possible, and that it was so easy to implement. Robustelli says that it only took his team about a day to get the game working correctly, which gives us hope that new features will be added soon to their unofficial port.
Are you playing? Interested in catching them all without a phone? Let us know.