The idea of a virtual pet has been a popular one for many years, from the Tamagotchi craze of the 90s to the considerably more sophisticated effort of Nintendogs and Cats. With the rising popularity of augmented reality (AR) it stands to reason that AR pets would start to become a reality. One such example is Dex, the lovable AR labrador, who is currently available for free as part of a celebration for International Dog Day.
Dex: Your AR Dog Companion is the creation of Labrodex Studios, whose president and CEO Jim Ivon modelled the AR pup after one of his own real-life dogs.
Android or iOS users can launch the app to see Dex appear in their living room (or kitchen, hallway or back garden). Players can then use the various app functions to feed Dex, play with him, take him for walks or teach him tricks.
Dex can be taught a variety of tricks, which range from simple commands such as ‘sit’ through the complex and silly games like ‘peek-a-boo’. A collection of toys can be assembled, and players will be able to learn about Dex to discover what his needs are.
Toys and other objects are bought with in-game ‘coins’ which Dex can find for the player while out on walks, where he will sniff them out for players to use.
Labradex Studios usually charge $1.99 (USD) for the app, but from 22nd August until 29th August, in celebration of International Dog Day, users will be able to download the app for free on Apple App Store or Google Play Store and discover the joys of owning a virtual pet – perfect for those who can’t take in a real pet for whatever reason.
The developers are keen to get feedback on Dex: Your AR Dog Companion from the user base, and have plans to include new features in future updates, like the option to give Dex a personalised collar, a virtual dog house or the ability to send Dex on virtual puppy play dates with a friend’s virtual dog.
For future coverage on other new and upcoming AR and VR titles, keep checking back with VRFocus.