Augmented reality is interesting, but that technology is way over-used in navigation and point-of-interest apps. That's why it's so refreshing to see a game like Ball Invasion and developers like 13th Lab who use AR in a new and exciting way.

On the surface, Ball Invasion is a simple ball-shooting game that uses your surroundings as a backdrop. But this background isn't just for show, you can actually bounce your bullets off it. That corner in your room is now a vector to get the right angle to pop that difficult-to-shoot ball.

And this game isn't just a game, it's the building block for a new development platform. The platform uses SLAM, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, a technique that lets you track your location and build a 3D-map at the same time. The team at 13th Lab wants to bundle this technology into a toolkit so other developers can use it in their own creative way. [iTunes via 13th Lab via GigaOm]


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