We recently attend a technology demonstration of Mirrorscape’s awesome new platform ARcana at Gold Tree Studios in the heart of Hollywood. While everyone is currently focused on the power of generative AI and speculation about our future in the metaverse, it’s easy to lose sight of another breakout technology that’s already available on millions of iPhones & iPads across the globe: Augmented Reality. Mirrorscape’s ARcana is a perfect example of Augmented Reality and it had everyone at the studio amazed.
Unlike Virtual Reality, AR enhances the physical world by overlaying digital information on top of it, altering the real vision of the user instead of completely replacing it. AR has been tested and lightly implemented on iPhones & iPads for years, and recent advancements in the technology have exponentially grown its potential to revolutionize spaces like education, engineering, healthcare and retail – but before this happens, AR will build a baseline for global users in entertainment and gaming.
Entertainment – especially gaming – is often the first step in generating interest in emerging technologies, and it’s likely that a new and immersive way to play games will allow us to embrace augmented reality on a larger scale. At least that’s what Mirrorscape, a cutting-edge XR game development startup, is betting on with its augmented reality tabletop gaming platform, ARcana.
While video, music and video games have long since transitioned to streaming and digital download services, traditional tabletop games have been one of the last entertainment categories to go digital. When asked where will we first see this new technology, Mirrorscape’s founder responded that they “aim to change this, bringing the magic of AR to life by allowing tabletop gamers, specifically those who play roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, to visualize their boards and pieces in authentic 3D.”
When digitizing a traditional game beloved by many players, it is essential that the digital experience closely matches, and pays tribute to the physical one – and this is another way that augmented reality is benefitting the gaming space. To preserve the look and feel of the game pieces featured in many games, Mirrorscape has partnered with leading producers of terrain and miniature pieces to create high-resolution digital twins that are identical to the physical versions. This has allowed Mirrorscape to stay close to the original experience that players are used to while bringing technology innovation to the forefront of the industry.
The team at Mirrorscape believes augmented reality will allow the same ‘anytime, anywhere’ convenience for tabletop games that streaming has brought for movies, music and multiplayer video games. Players on Mirrorscape’s ARcana app will be able to connect around the table or around the world to immerse themselves in their next game night or campaign.
AR is already reshaping the way that we play, work, learn and communicate – and it’s only getting started… We at Mirrorscape are ecstatic to apply the technology already available on smartphones and tablets, and that which will soon be available on glasses and headsets, in a way that lets players connect with each other and enhance their gaming experiences in ways that weren’t available before.–Mirrorscape CEO Grant Anderson
We asked if ARcana is also being built with Apple glasses in mind and the entire team just smiled and said “With the coming release of [Apple’s glasses] comes advanced perception technology like spatial meshing to detect tabletop surfaces and hand tracking technology that lets players move game pieces as they would in real life.” We can only imagine what is in store for us.
While Apple has not announced the specifics of their XR/AR products, ARcana is releasing this spring on iPhone & iPads and Anderson and others will be working to ensure its novel application of AR takes off and “speeds the adoption of the technology even in advance of AR glasses.”
We can see this a just a jumping off point to a larger world. In gaming alone, just imagine playing your favorite table-top games such a Monopoly® and others. If you have any ideas on where you would like AR to enhance your life, let us know. We are planning on more articles on the future of that platform as it will be as big of a game changer as the original iPhone was.