Reddit is one of the corner of the internet where you can find things that will either make your day infinitely worse and send you into a pit of despair because hell is so frequently other people, or it could make your day infinitely better, showcasing content that will make you celebrate and appreciate the ideas and ingenuity of other people. This morning we fortunately came across the latter – Pokemon holograms. They are admittedly projections that look holographic rather than outright holograms but you can see how they work in the video below:
The Pokemon themselves are created in the Unity game development software and then displayed on a monitor which is projected onto four sides of a pyramidal prism made from Plexiglas. Each side of the prism is showing a different angle of the object being projected, creating the 3D holographic appearance. The objects are then tracked by using a webcam to read QR codes, allowing the image tracking software in Unity to track the position of the cards and know where to display the relevant Pokemon.
The projections were created by Reddit user kennywdev, who has also posted a guide so that you can have your own Pokemon at home if you’ve got the requisite skills. The overall set up required isn’t overly complex, I imagine it’s when you get down to the details that it’s more complicated; for example, the step where you create your own Pokemon in the Unity game engine might stump more than a few prospective trainers.
This is a seriously cool project that managed to send my mind racing with possibilities; can you imagine the future of the Pokemon Trading Card Game using this? If every card was fitted with a QR code that allowed players to project and holo-battle their Pokemon through app-based software it could allow for the introduction of an exciting digital element to the game without removing the appeal of tabletop play, much like games like Fabulous Beasts and Nintendo’s own AR cards but visible in real life rather than through a screen. It’s definitely a testament to the exciting possibilities of augmented reality. The only problem really is that you’d never be able to actually hold your Pokemon. Oh, the sadness.