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Switched On: Lenovo feels the force with ‘Star Wars’ gameplay

The company has teamed up with Disney and created a new smartphone-powered, augmented-reality experience

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Lenovo has teamed up with Disney and created a new smartphone-powered, augmented-reality product and experience.

For those who have just grasped the concept of virtual reality and are already thrown off by the first sentence, worry not: augmented reality (AR) is similar, well, ‘same-same but different’. In simple terms, AR offers a live view of the real world with a layer of computer-generated information that augments, or amplifies what you see.

While you’re completely immersed in virtual reality and locked out of reality, AR, like Hannah Montana, gives you the best of both worlds.

Now back to Lenovo’s latest product. The package includes the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, a Lightsaber controller and a tracking beacon. It will be available in the UAE across all major retailers and select Etisalat stores from November 15 for Dh1,199.

LEAD_ Star Wars Jedi Challenges _(1)

The Mirage headset itself is a gorgeous device. They can be worn comfortably with glasses. Thought light at 477g, I found it slightly uncomfortable on the front of my head. Lastly, it features dual, motion-tracking cameras and looks incredibly futuristic.

LEAD_ Star Wars Jedi Challenges _2)

The main aspect of the entire package — which Lenovo is quite excited about — is the augmented-reality Star Wars gameplay. You load up the app, slot your smartphone into the headset, power up a virtual lightsaber and battle Star Wars villains in your living room.

In the game, you begin your Jedi training and undergo Lightsaber Battles, Strategic Combat and play Holochess. You travel to other planets and complete several challenges each with its own difficulty levels and villains to defeat.

Here’s where the coolness ends. The gameplay is gimmicky and you would get bored pretty soon. The graphics did lag a bit, the characters you battle are pixelated and the headset’s tracking beacon got a bit confused several times skewing my augmented reality experience. You can check it out in the vid below:

 

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For those truly interested in the product and if there are activations in electronic stores across the UAE — try it for yourself and check it out. While kind of cool, I wouldn’t be purchasing it until there are more games available — and as of now — they are a Star Wars exclusive.

One would blast through the game over a weekend — and bring it out to show off to friends from time-to-time, but that’s about it. If you’re a techy Star Wars fanatic, this would serve as an amazing collectable, since the lightsaber is pretty cool. Or if you know a techy Star Wars fanatic — it would be a neat Christmas present.

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