One coder has recreated the first level of Nintendo's classic Super Mario Bros. in augmented reality and it's amazing. Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset isn't super popular yet, some people may have never heard of it at all, but augmented reality technology is rapidly getting better and soon it will be everywhere. While this isn't the first time that a coder has developed an unsanctioned Mario augmented reality port for HoloLens, it's the only first-person version and it looks a lot cooler than the other versions seen so far.
28-year old Coder Abhishek Singh built the instantly recognizable level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., giving himself a first-person view of the game, all in a three-dimensional landscape. The video has been uploaded to Singh's YouTube channel and it shows him dressed up like Mario with overalls, a red shirt, and white gloves before giving a demonstration of his augmented reality game. Singh chooses one player and than looks around revealing level 1-1 right in the middle of Central Park in New York City, probably freaking more than one person out, but no more than a Pokémon GO player.
Singh continues the demonstration by stomping on Goombas and hitting question mark blocks to obtain coins and mushrooms. Though there aren't any turtles in the first level, Singh added some to show off as well as demonstrating the use of fireballs to take out some more Goombas. The whole 4-minute video is worth a watch especially at the end when the flagpole is reached and the fireworks go off, signaling the end of the level. Comments on the video are overwhelmingly positive, many asking for Singh to add more and do more levels involving warp pipes, caves, and an underwater scene.
Singh used the HoloLens device and a pair of virtual reality goggles while running Unity3D. Microsoft's HoloLens is a head-mounted display unit connected to an adjustable, cushioned headband, which can lift HoloLens up and down, as well as backward and forward. The front of the device contains sensors, camera, and processors with 3D audio speakers on the side, allowing users to hear outside sounds as well as the augmented reality sounds. The augmented reality is used at a very basic and non-immersive way for the smartphone game, Pokémon GO. Players go around in real-world environments to hunt and catch Pokémon, while the game has seen a major backlash, it's been a pretty cool way to get kids off of the couch an interacting with their environment.
Augmented reality is still in it its infancy, but the technology is getting better everyday. It won't be long before users are able to walk around Endor to hang with Ewoks, play World of Warcraft outdoors, play Halo for real, etc. We're not that far out from that becoming a reality. In the mean time check out all of the hard work that Abhishek Singh put into his Super Mario Bros. port. Check out the video below before Nintendo takes the video down for copyright infringement.