Always suspected there were invisible schools of fish flying around in your bedroom, but never had the powerful tools needed to catch them? Now you can with the Virtual Master Real, an augmented reality (AR) toy that turns your surrounding environment into a body of water teeming with marine life.
Created by Takara Tomy, the toy consists of a "fishing apparatus" that looks more like the handle of a laser pistol with a reel on the right hand side and a short rod at the top. Simulation is done using an onboard color display, where you can watch your bait hook virtual fish that you can reel in.
The Virtual Master Real can be played in two ways: the AR mode where fish appear in your surrounding environment (it has a 0.3 megapixel camera in the back) and a Select mode. The latter lets you play on a simulated fishing locale, such as ponds, oceans and lakes. Like other fishing games, you're in charge of selecting the lure and finding good fishing spots, apart from the usual work big game fishermen do -- you know, casting, reeling, setting the hook and battling the fish to bring them in.
Sure, the screen is a bit too small to facilitate the most immersive experience. Still, with force feedback, simulated sounds and line tension all integrated into the gameplay, it could make for one entertaining fishing adventure. And that's without even leaving the house.
Takara Tomy is prepapring the Virtual Master Real for a July release, priced at around $80.