Google has coded and launched a free mobile alternate reality game.
Initially available for Android-based devices on an invite-only basis, Ingress was created under the auspices of John Hanke and his Niantic Labs, a start-up team housed inside of Google.
“This grew out of us thinking about notions of ubiquitous computing,” Hanke told AllThingsD during a recent intervoew. “The device melts away.”
Indeed, users can generate virtual energyby picking up units of “XM,” which are collected by navigating special “walking paths.”
Meanwhile, energy is expended traveling via portals, which are virtually associated with public art, libraries and other accessible public places.
“The concept is something like World of Warcraft, where everyone in the world is playing the same game. Players are on one of two teams: ‘The Enlightened,’ who embrace the power, or ‘The Resistance,’ who fight the power,” said Hank.
“[Yes], we were definitely inspired by JJ Abrams… But we don’t want to leave people in a ‘Lost’ situation where they get into the fiction of a world but then it never ends.”