by Luis Villazon Apple showcased the Anki Drive in 2013 but it took until this Christmas for it to become a hit. This isn’t a kind of hard disk. It’s a racing game. Physical toy cars race around on a play mat with special guidelines painted on that only show up in infrared. You can play against your friends or on your own, using an iPhone or iPad to control the cars. The cars all have some AI built in that lets them drive by themselves or react to virtual weapons that you can fire. It’s either a real-world version of the classic Sprint arcade game, or an AI version of Scalextric, depending on your point of view. It also
£150 for a game that requires players to have an iPhone is too expensive and limited
costs £150 for the starter system of one race track and two cars. That’s £150 for a game that still requires each player to have an iPhone. I’m a huge fan of augmented reality games but this is way too expensive and way too limited.
It’s a promising start though. I’d like to see a way to do away with the floor mat. Give me a special infrared marker pen that lets me draw my own track on a smooth floor. Now sell me tanks and artillery pieces, instead of just racing cars. Or pieces for a board game that can move themselves and interact with each other. In 1977 we thought that the 3D chess in Star Wars was the most futuristic game imaginable. But Skylanders and Anki Drive and Ingress show that physical objects are a much more convincing and immersive way to do 3D than a flickery blue hologram.