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Augmented Reality Making Waves in Arcades

HADO AR Games by Meleaps
HADO AR Games by Meleaps
Augmented Reality (AR), has become more associated with the home market with the Nintendo DS and Pokemon Go utilizing the technology. Meleap a Japanese AR Developer has been developing an AR platform known as "HADO". This platform uses your mobile phone attached to a headset. With this technology they have introduced various, ways of applying the experience to the Amusement industry.

Recounted by Kevin Williams of the Stinger Report:

"The Japanese AR developer Meleap, has been working hard to promote and sell their HADO platform, offering special mobileAR headsets to be able to take part in virtual sports experiences, with the opponent of fireballs represented virtually, with head and hand tracking ('HADO SHOOT'). These systems used AR-capable smartphones mounted in AR headsets. But, more recently, meleap demonstrated 'HADO KART' - the first multiplayer AR powered bumper car game. An early proof of concept, the HADO system abandons using mobileAR and opts for deploying Microsoft Hololens headsets.

'HADO KART' has four players, sitting on electric carts, racing round an enclosure collecting virtual points and coins while avoiding traps, all represented via their AR glasses. The system has seen its first commercial deployment in Japan, and THE 3RD PLANET amusement venue in Yokohama - with the operators charging ¥500 ($5) a game. This marks the first time the Microsoft Hololens has been used in a commercial entertainment (pay-to-play) setting. A major policy change in the deployment of the AR hardware is that the company still treats it as being in a development kit state (Hololens units sold for $3,000 each, only to developers).

meleap has recently entered into a partnership with SCRAP Technologies, developers of pop-up Escape Room systems (some of our readers will remember their association with TAITO in our 2015 JAEPO report). The company is now promoting the HADO platform as a standalone AR entertainment system in the West - no word at this moment if the 'HADO KART' system will be available for acquisition by operators outside of Japan."

These experiences are only going to improve with time and create many generations of happy customers and pleased operators.

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