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Book online «Augmented Reality Victor Appleton (7 ebook reader TXT) 📖». Author Victor Appleton

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The Augmented Expedition

I STEPPED INTO THE GYM and scanned the area. A few students sat on the bleachers. Some watched two members of the fencing team facing off, foils at the ready. Others chatted quietly or finished their homework last-minute before school began. Luckily, none of them seemed to be interested in my destination.

I casually strolled across the floor, heading toward the end of the single set of bleachers. I adjusted my glasses and looked at the seated students. I didn’t bother glancing at the fencers; their masks would definitely block my facial recognition program.

That’s right, I was testing my brand-new augmented reality glasses. You see, I had almost all of the academy students in my address book, so it was easy to add their faces to my program.

As I moved closer to the bleachers, small green squares appeared around the students’ faces. Their names floated under those open boxes. Simone Mosby chatted with Alicia Wilkes. Evan Wittman sat alone, reading something on his tablet.

Okay, their names didn’t really float next to these unsuspecting students. That was the augmented part of my augmented reality glasses. You see, my program projected the images onto my glasses so that only I could see them. The boxes continued to float next to the students even though I kept moving. It was very cool. In fact, I felt kind of like James Bond or Jason Bourne. Except their spy glasses might list a bunch of deadly facts about the subject. I imagined an additional list of stats floating beside Evan’s face: international assassin, wanted by Interpol, deadly with nunchucks.

As I moved closer to the bleachers, Evan glanced up from his tablet. “Cool glasses, Tom,” he said casually, instead of attacking me with nunchucks. “What do they do?”

“I’ll tell you later,” I replied as I continued toward my destination. “I’m still beta testing them.”

Evan gave a knowing nod and went back to his tablet.

At any other school, I would’ve looked weird walking around wearing oversize safety glasses with wires leading down to a controller and power pack clipped to my belt. Okay, I’m sure I looked weird here, too. But at the Swift Academy of Science and Technology, it wasn’t unusual for students to test their inventions on school grounds. You might see drones flying down the halls one day and green smoke billowing out of the chemistry lab the next. You never knew what strange and exciting things you’d come across at this school.

Today, I wasn’t just testing my latest invention—I was also helping my best friend, Noah Newton, with his. That’s why I made my way to the back of the bleachers. I was using my glasses to assist Noah with his own augmented reality invention. And I wasn’t the only one. Noah had created a cool app that most of the academy students were helping him test.

I ducked behind the bleachers and adjusted my glasses. Scanning the dark and dusty area, I quickly spotted exactly what I was looking for: a cartoon pork chop slowly spun as it hovered just above the floor under the bleachers. It wasn’t a real pork chop, obviously, but one I could see only using my glasses.

I dug out my phone and accessed Noah’s Feed the Beast app. The program activated the camera, and I held up my phone so I could see the pork chop hovering on the screen. Using the app, I’d be able to see the cartoon hunk of meat even if I wasn’t wearing my glasses.

My thumb moved toward the app’s Collect button, but the pork chop disappeared before I could capture it. I spun around to see that I wasn’t alone. A thin boy with curly brown hair held his own phone in front of him. I recognized the student, even as my glasses drew a square around his face and flashed a label: Terry Stephenson.

“Not so swift, Tom Swift,” Terry said with a grin. “I found this one yesterday.” Terry ducked his head as he stepped out from under the bleachers and disappeared from sight.

I closed Noah’s app and shot him a text. Someone found the one under the bleachers.

Cool, Noah replied. Keep looking.

Hurrying away from the bleachers, I made my way to the gym doors, scanning the ceiling just in case Noah had hidden any other loot up there.

Noah had created a cool phone app that hid all kinds of cartoon food items all over the school. There were barrels of apples, cartoon fish, and even oversize cherries, just like in that old-school video game, Pac-Man. You couldn’t see the items unless you were looking through your phone’s camera, using his app.

Noah had made the app available to all the academy students so everyone could play. The object of the game was to go around the school and collect as many of the items as you could. The student who collected the most loot won for the day.

That wasn’t the coolest part of the game, though. Every day after school, if you went outside and aimed your phone at the sky, you would be able to see a giant beast tromping toward the Swift Academy building. When it got close enough, all of the students who’d gathered loot could launch it toward the creature. If enough people collected enough food and successfully launched their cache into the monster’s mouth, the beast would be satisfied and it wouldn’t destroy the school. That’s right. Noah had created a cool program where a monster demolished the Swift Academy building. It looked amazing and pretty realistic.

Since Noah’s app had launched three days before, the beast had torn down the school every time. And as cool as that was to watch, it also meant that not enough students had collected enough loot. Today looked like there was a pretty good chance that would change, though. Every day the app was live, more and more students could be seen roaming the halls with their phones out in front of them—even more

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