Ever played Lazer Tag? If Apple has its druthers, next time you play it, it won’t be with big ray guns and fluorescent sensors, but with your iPhone.
Apple’s gaming plans are described in a newly discovered patent dated April 2009 for “Interactive Gaming with Co-Located, Networked Direction and Location Aware Devices.”
The nitty gritty’s a lot cooler than that dry legalese description, though: what Apple is describing here is away to take advantage of an iPhone’s gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS to turn your handset into an aimable device that can talk to other iPhones that it is pointed at.
In other words, instead of your iOS device simply being aware of where it is positionally in the real world, it’ll also be able to tell where it is in the real world in relation to other devices.
This has a lot of incredibly cool potential for iOS gaming, and Apple’s patent seems to realize it: it goes on to describe various official Apple peripherals much like you see with Nintendo’s Wii Remote, like a case that lets you hold your iPhone like a gun or a steering wheel.
Pretty exciting if this ever gets actualized: at the very least, it seems like Apple might want to get involved in some of the situational, motion-controlled gaming goodness currently driving Nintendo’s Wii business or that of the Xbox 360’s new Kinect accessory… only mobile. At the very least? It should lead to a killer game of real-life capture the flag, don’t you think?