Ogmento, a New York-based augmented reality gaming company, said Wednesday that it closed a $3.5 million series A funding round to expand its efforts in the augmented reality gaming space.
A rep for the company said that it's the first time that an augmented reality gaming company has received venture funding. Ogmento said it would use the funding to build its development teams in New York and L.A., and plans on releasing "several game titles in the coming year."
Augmented reality games use technology to combine real-world settings with computer-created images.
One of Ogmento's products is the iPhone game called Put a Spell
, a spelling game for children that, in one demo, places a 3D rendered panda bear against a backdrop mat.
The company, founded in 2009, has worked on augmented reality products for Penguin Publishing, SAP, Orange Telecom
, Smith and Nephew and PBS, Ogmento said.
Chart Venture Partners and CNF investments led the funding round. "This investment allows us to expand our operations to support our growth while putting development resources into our own intellectual property," said Ori Inbar, co-founder and CEO of Ogmento.
Chart Partners' Matthew McCooe and CNF's Joe Del Guercio will join Ogmento's board of directors, which also includes Inbar, founders Brad Foxhoven and Brian Selzer. Chart's Cole Van Nice will also join Ogmento as COO.
There are other companies that are already releasing commercial augmented reality games. Sony Computer Entertainment has already released in Europe EyePet
, a game that uses the PS3's PlayStation Eye to combine a real-world backdrop with a virtual pet.
Also released last year by Sony is Invizimals
for PSP, a collectible card game that lets players "see" invisible animals through the PSP's screen using a camera peripheral.
In addition, iPhone game developers have released games that combine real world backdrops with computer images using the phone's built-in camera. With the Nintendo DSi's camera, developers are also exploring the space.
One classic augmented reality game is the Pac-Man inspired game from University of Singapore scientists, who would wear eyepieces that placed digital pellets in real-life streets using GPS.