News Article

Colour-Based AR Patent is Hot Stuff

Posted by James Newton

You'll see what we mean

The augmented reality games bundled with the 3DS are all well and good, but many of you want more. Nintendo's applied for a patent on a new colour-based AR concept that would make a very welcome addition to the system's AR suite.

The document refers to using colour to influence the game world, giving several intriguing examples. For instance: your character stands on a red cube, with a huge gap before the next gap. Grab a red background — paper, clothing etc. — and line it up between the cube to create a bridge for the happy chap to wander over.

Another example features a fiery pit. No problem — point your 3DS cameras over a blue surface and it'll create rain to extinguish the flames.

These would all be perfect ideas for an eShop game, but with several retail games featuring AR modes we could even see this wind up in a box one day. Or it might never see the light of day at all: it is just a patent application, after all.


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User Comments (37)



komicturtle said:

Whoa... Is that a new model of the 3DS? Bigger screen...?

Design looks like DSi fused with 3DS. And you can see the "ornamented" slide pad.. Please let this be true. I want my 3DS to be like the DSi in regards to how it feels as well as the d-pad and FLAT screen (no gap like there already is on 3DS).



Gustoff said:

That is such a cool idea. Could they maybe do a system update and add this to the already existing AR games that came included with the 3DS? Or would they make us pay for a whole new app? We'll play the waiting game i guess...



James said:

@L4DYK0M1C It's just a drawing for the purposes of patent applications — DS patents use drawings of prototype consoles, for instance:


Don't read too much into it, unless it's a patent for a new kind of 3DS of course



New_3DaSh_XL said:

Yeah, looks sorta like a new version of 3DS. Round power button, differant configuration of speakers...

Anyways, cool. AR games is nice but i got boring after a while. Hopefully this means Nintendo isn't going to continue ignoring it's full capability. I hope to see an updated AR game before too long or a full eShop AR game, to keep AR games alive.



SkywardLink98 said:

That so cool I'd make it optional of course because if it requires seeing all this stuff you might not have it on hand and lose the level so if it's a platformer there would be all sorts of precarious jumps over the lava but you could scan a blue item and make it rain and turn the lava into a solid block so you don't have to make all the jumps, just walk across



Kyloctopus said:

I hope N announces some serious updates at E3 (Or even better, surprise update during N's presentation)



Kyloctopus said:

I hope N announces some serious updates at E3 (Or even better, surprise update during N's presentation)



childofacid said:

This is already in the AR game!! In the fishing mini game, if you place the AR card over something red it causes a rare red fish appear in the water. It does the same for blue, yellow, and green surfaces as well.



CommanderAudio said:

Mabye I'm interperting this article and the images wrong but.....
SONIC LABYRINTH 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



New_3DaSh_XL said:

@childofacid yes but no. Yes, it does somewhat respond to color. No, this sn't the major part of the game and no, this isn't a game in itself. If there were a game like that described above, yes it woud react to color, yes it wold be the biggest part of the game, UNLIKE AR fishing. You would have to plan strategically(maybe) instead of-there-you got a fish. It would be differant than the current game.



aaronsullivan said:

No, I think childofacid is 100% right. This patent is in use in that current example he cited. The patent doesn't say it has to be a game in itself or that it only counts if it's the "biggest part" of the game. Yes, it will manifest itself differently in other games, but it's being used already and childofacid's point is valid, IMO.



childofacid said:

@3Dangerous3Dash The patent is describing using "color to influence the game world" and then gives a few examples how it could be implemented. Its not a patent for an original game but a concept.
The patent was filed in July 2011. I believe Nintendo saw potential in this feature in the AR Game and patented it. It does not necessarily have to be a major part of the game, its still the same concept and idea.

Edit: @aaronsullivan I didn't see your comment but exactly!



childofacid said:

@Gustoff If my memory is right I think this feature only works in the "Free Fishing Mode." Place the card on a green surface! I think that one had the best effect on the game! If you have trouble finding blue, yellow, green or red surfaces just use a t-shirt, works just as good!



koolbob1872 said:

Hopefully these patents are pointing to a second 3DS. I don't want to get one now because as soon as I do, they will release a new one.



Henmii said:

Sounds like fun, but isn't this already possible? I mean, take the fishing game for example. I believe certain colored backgrounds attract certain fish. If you point your 3DS at a red object, it should be possible to attract red fish. But I am not sure!



Gold_Ranger said:

What's with the "dot" and the circle under the Right Hand?

Also, Kid Icarus: Uprising uses colours to tell exactly what card you are using/scanning.
The bottom left of all the cards have a mulit-colour code.
If you print out the cards in B&W, they do not work!



espinozac7 said:

I hope its not a whole new app where you have to pay!
They could make colored AR Cards! At least more sets of cards!



sinalefa said:

As long as basic colors can be used, I am good for it. I am color blind, but the AR color stuff in the fishing game was fine. What I wouldn't like is just a glorified tech demo like Spirit Camera. I can smell some new Zelda puzzles involving colors and the camera itself.



Capt_N said:

@L4DYK0M1C @James is correct. These designs are what patent designs always look like.

@espinozac7 It has to be taken into account, what the plain/standalone/base hardware functionality limits are of the camera (hardware itself), then adding into the equation what (also) the camera firmware is capable of, & finally any applications that take advantage of these things, w/ their own (programming) code, & high level functionality, which may operate in tandem w/, or standalone from the camera firmware. In short, as long as color detection is a functional capability of firstly the camera hardware itself, & the firmware, then all that is needed is programming code to harness that functionality. Apparently, from these comments, KI:U AR games support color coding, so all that may very well be needed, is an update to the 3DS AR program/game/application, & even that (an update) may not be (needed).



NImH said:

Alice in Wonderland on DS had something like this. To open certain color-locked chests, you'd have to find an actual object that matched the required color(s) and aim the camera at it for a few seconds as it unlocked.
That was a really, surprisingly good and overlooked game, BTW.



DaveGX said:

I could almost see 1 of these examples working for a Pokémon game if you didn't need colored AR cards. That way maybe different colors or shades of enviornments could have them show up looking in their natural habits.... Pokémon Snap 2 anyone? Or perhaps just an all out all new version where your finding, catching, battling is based around AR.



Dreadjaws said:

Well, technically speaking, Metal Gear Solid 3D already does this with the custom camos. When you take a picture of a certain color you can use it to camouflage in certain areas. I took a picture of an old dirty greenish-brown wooden table in my work and used it to camouflage in forests with great success.

And yes, I play at work. When I have some free time, it's not like I stop doing my job to play... most of the time.



lanabanana said:

That's pretty cool! I completed all the AR games quickly and I only have one game that uses them.



Raylax said:

Don't the Kid Icarus AR cards already use this? Pretty certain the RGB pattern in the lower left of the cards is what the camera picks up



Quarghor said:

Nintendo's patent spree doesn't surprise me at all. They recently saw a certain Wiimote clone being made out to be something innovative. That's when shiz has got to stop.



Henmii said:


The Kid Icarus uprising cards have something called a "color-bit". And yes, that's the thing you can find in the bottom-left corner of a card!

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