After weeks of teasing, Google on Thursday released an augmented reality multiplayer game for smartphones called "Ingress," which has players navigating to real-world landmarks with their phones in tow to solve a mystery about a suspicious mind-controlling energy force, and choosing sides for or against it (the energy force). But before that, Google had to alpha test the game on thousands of its own employees, and one of them became so enthralled with the game that he created a special charging kit for smartphone on his bicycle, so he could navigate to the areas directed in the game without losing power.
As Brandon Badger, project manager for Google's Niantic Labs, the part of the company that developed Ingress, wrote in a Google Plus post on Thursday:
Ingress was highly addictive to Googlers that participated in our pre-launch Alpha testing. One Googler even created his own bike that is optimized for playing the game. There's a special battery pack on the back of the bike and a mount up front for his phone running Ingress. #ingress #nianticproject
Here's a photo Badger posted of the custom bicycle in question:
Asked by TPM how many employees tested Ingress in the alpha phase and whether Google would release the specifications of the custom bike kit, Badger responded:
We had thousands of Googlers playing in the Alpha test over the period of a few months. You all will have to figure out how to make your own Ingress bikes. :)
Another Googler wrote in Badger's comments: "Many of us bought extra large batteries for our phones. And USB chargers for our cars."