Saturday, August 29, 2015

241. Orbits

Orbits is a slow-burn AR craze that has been slowly but surely gaining in popularity. Users of Orbits become the center of a small solar system, in orbit around their head as if it were a star. They can manipulate events with their hands, sending asteroids and comets to and fro or shaping continents, or allow the simulation to take its own course. Life will arise on suitable planets and quickly evolve, eventually becoming intelligent tool users who will explore their solar system.

If other users are nearby, interstellar travel, first contact situations, diplomacy and war will occur between civilizations. Users sometimes congregate in public places to watch as epic space-operas breaks out.

Orbits is an AR toy run on mesh inserts, so it should not come as a surprise that the simulation cuts corners wherever possible; the simulation is no more detailed than the user requires. If the user is not paying attention, than the simulation is entirely statistical. If a user zooms in to watch an expedition to an alien planet, that expedition is detailed but nothing else. A popular extra for Orbits is an AI that monitors the activity of their planets and looks for patterns suitable for unique short stories, effectively a written highlight reel.

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