We’ve seen hundreds of uses for Apple’s new ARKit platform in the past few months, but the developers of the upcoming Poker VR have a pretty special showcase of how the tech can communicate with VR.
In the video below you can see a multiplayer match of the upcoming game — releasing on Gear VR on December 22nd and coming to Rift early next year — working across iPhone AR and mobile VR. As expected, VR players embody players sitting at a table taking part in a match. The AR user, meanwhile, is playing his own hand whilst also spectating with a virtual diorama of the scene, complete with player’s head movements. The game is developed by Mega Particle and is a sequel to the team’s previous app, Casino VR.
“Since the beginning, we believe that AR and VR have to come together for social applications,” developer Hamza Siddiqui said of the team’s experiments with AR. “An AR headset will be able to induce social presence with the same effectiveness as a VR headset (if not more). But it was ARKit and (as geeks) we had to experiment with what is already possible. So we thought let’s build a spectator AR application where you can see other people playing poker from VR.”
While it may have started off as a spectator version, the app soon grew to include full functionality. In the current version you can join a Poker VR table and use all of the expected commands. VR players will simply see this user as another virtual avatar that moves in relation to where the camera is looking. Looking forward, we could see plenty of uses for the tech, including perhaps using the iPhone X’s facial mapping features to bring an element of bluffing and reading into VR, just like you have in the real game.
As for the game itself, Siddiqui is confident poker fans are going to enjoy it. “We took a very methodical approach with Poker VR and built it from ground up for Mobile VR,” he said. “Everything is different including, UX, UI, Game design, avatars, environments, server infrastructure, IK, facial expressions. We are confident that it is the most comprehensive product built yet for Mobile VR. Poker VR will also come to the Rift in Q1, 2018 and will be cross-platform. “