Hive-mind solves tasks using Google Glass ant game

August 6, 2013

Swarm Google Glass game (credit: Daniel Estrada and Jonathan Lawhead)

Daniel Estrada of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and Jonathan Lawhead of Columbia University in New York are seeking to bring crowdsourcing to Google Glass, New Scientist reports.

The pair have designed a game called Swarm! that puts a Glass wearer in the role of an ant in a colony.

Similar to the pheromone trails laid down by ants, players leave virtual trails on a map as they move about. These behave like real ant trails, fading away with time unless reinforced by other people traveling the same route. Such augmented reality games already exist, but in Swarm! the tasks have real-world applications. …

For example, if the developers wanted to create a map of the locations of every power outlet in an airport, they could reward players with virtual food for every photo of a socket they took.

The photos and location data recorded by Glass could then be used to generate a map that anyone could use. …

Estrada and Lawhead hope that by turning tasks such as these into games, Swarm! will capture the group intelligence ant colonies exhibit when they find the most efficient paths between food sources and the home nest. [..,]