The augmented reality game from Google’s Niantic Labs is crossing over from your handheld devices to your wearables soon.
Ingress is in a very unique position for a game. It’s been called an ‘augmented reality massively multiplayer online role playing game’ thanks to its special mechanics. Initially based on your smartphone, the game will soon embrace wearables, allowing you more freedom to move around.
The idea of Ingress is that our world has caught wind of a new power source called XM, and there are otherworldly beings called Shapers who are slowly making their way into our reality. Two factions have opposing views on XM and the Shapers: the Enlightened (the establishment) and the Resistance (the rebellion). Players have to capture and hold portals, gateways to another dimension where the XM is coming from, usually in the form of local landmarks and places of interest in the real world like train stations, buildings, monuments, etc.
Having Android Wear with a smartwatch will allow for more discreet gameplay, as you play an agent on either faction, and since players play the role of ‘agents’, the game values discretion. With a smartwatch, you’ll be discreetly notified if there are opposing portals and allows you to interact with them through your wearable (though your smartphone is still needed).
With the discretion offered by a smartwatch and Android Wear, players can really get into the game and feel more like an agent working for their faction. It also helps avoid detection from opposing faction members since your face won’t be glued to a smartphone. If you’ve played the game long enough, you’ll notice telltale signs of an Ingress player swiping, tapping and tracing stuff on the display, something a smartwatch can decrease or have you do less conspicuously.
Ingress is also known to be a battery hog, so here’s hoping Niantic and Android Wear will be able to address that for smartwatches. Look for the Android Wear app to be available some time next month but if you’re curious about the world of Ingress, you can download the app from Google Play and the iTunes store.