Apple's New Gaming Patent Would Allow iPhone Laser Tag

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"Interactive Gaming with Co-Located, Networked Direction and Location Aware Devices," sounds dull, but

Apple's latest patent is anything but. The tech described would use augmented reality tricks to open up whole new forms of portable gameplay—iPhone guns, anyone?


The gist of the patent is its ability to take advantage of the phone's position-sensing guts—gyroscope, accelerometer, and GPS—to turn your iOS device into a controller that talks to other controllers. Imagine using your iPhone's camera and screen to take aim at a friend, and then nailing her with a wirelessly-transmitted shot. Each phone involved in such a game would know the location of the other, constantly sharing positional data. Also described in the patent are Apple-sanctioned control accessories, allowing you to hold your phone like a gun or steering wheel.

This is pretty radical stuff from a company that's confined its gaming—highly successfully, it should be acknowledged—to whatever can be accomplished through solitary tapping, swiping, and tilting. But this new patent suggests Apple wants to take iOS gaming off of the toilet and subway seat, and out into the open. And we're excited. [TUAW]