Augmented Reality – Going Mainstream

by Joseph Flaherty on April 12, 2009

Augmented Reality (AR) is a cool set of technologies that enable virtual elements to be overlaid in photos or videos of the real world. the term was coined by Thomas Caudell who was working with Boeing in 1990 and was further developed at the Univesity of Washington’s HIT Lab. It is a jaw dropping technology, examples of which pop up on blogs with regularity. Over the last year augmented reality has been utilized with more frequently and in more commercial endevors (Made possible due to a Flash framework (FLARToolkit) and the increase of webcam use.)

How it works

1. You create a 3D design with CAD

2. You generate a unique “barcode” and assign the 3D model to it.

3. View the “barcode” with a webcam or smartphone and the 3D model you created is overlaid onto the world around you.

Here is a quick video explanation:

Augmented Reality seems poised to enter the mainstream via a variety of new offerings.

Smith & Tinker

nanvor

Smith & Tinker’s first game Nanovor sounds like it could be Augmented Reality’s first killer app. Nanovor is a trading card game/website similar to Pokemon, but with a tech focus. Based on their description of the game a hand held device (LCD + camera) allows you to see the Nanovors via the AR code on the card and do battle with friends. Nanovor is still unreleased and may not feature Augmented Reality, but based on their description, 3rd party accounts, and the HCI focus on their VC firm, the Foundry Group it bodes well for AR enthusiasts.

Topps Baseball Cards


These Augmented Reality baseball cards from Topps really puts the lenticular animation cards from the 70′s and 80′s to shame. In addition to the character appearing in 3D you can also play some limited video games using the keyboard.

Lego

lego-ar-box

Not to be outdone by startups, Lego developed a Kiosk that allows a prospective customer to get a 3D walk around of the model inside the kit. This would be a fantastic extension for their Mass Customization service and might help satisfy some of the intelligent criticisms made of it.

Eye of Judgement


A very cool concept where Magic the Gathering style cards are laid down under the view of the PS3 Eye attachment. The camera can read the Augmented Reality patterns (runes) and create a little animated vignette reminicent of “Battle Chess”. Eye of Judgement has been out for a few years, but doesn’t seem to have taken off. This is likely due to the HCI demands of the technology. The gimmick wears off quickly when you are planted in front of a TV screen and needs to be immersed in the real world for full impact.

GE

GE’s Ecoimagination “solar panel” is kind of gimmicky, but cool none the less.

Practical Applications

Most of the applications for Augmented Reality thus far have been toys or entertainment. A couple practical applications are now available:

This mobile app provides contextual information about your surrounding and could be a tremendous boon for travelers.

iLiving is an application that allows you to photograph a room using your iphone and then place 3D models of furniture in that photo to see how it would look. Ikea could make a huge splash if they opened up their catalog to this service.

iliving1

white_spacer

Experimentation

the following videos show off some applications of Augmented Reality technologies that aren’t quite market ready yet, but show what is possible with the technology.

Matt Cottam/Tellart

matt-cottam-ar

Matt Cottam introduced Augmented Reality to my class when I was at RISD years ago. He is currently working on a neat application of the technology where the AR pattern is laser cut into a wooden block. There has been a lot of experimentation with the Augmented Reality technology, but not as much with the physical side. Matt is a brilliant guy and hopefully these experiments are the start of a new product offering. His firm TellArt also created their 2008 holiday card Using AR.

Interactivity

This is Total Immersion at Demo showing off Augmented Reality in a Tour de Force presentation. Look for the “Living Tshirt”.

Task Specific Hardware

This video shows off some neat applications, but the custom hardware that was fabricated to view them is really cool.

For more information

Keep an eye on two firms Metaio and Total Immersion who are helping bring Augmeted Reality to the masses. Also, subscribe to the YouTube channel of EmmanuelMFr who works for Total Immersion and has a bunch of interesting demos.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • http://www.solidsmack.com Josh M

    doode, great post on AR. I absolutely love thinking of all the applications for this.

  • http://leeclip.com Leeclip

    Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • http://boost-hits.com Web traffic

    Explain with an example?How to find middle element of a linked list without traversing the full list?

  • http://www.theaffordablehome.com vessel sinks

    Has watch the video with the pleasure, very interesting post, write still, good luck to you!

  • http://www.sunglassesuk.com/Oakley_Goggles.asp Oakley Goggles

    this was great, it just tell that many people have their minds to think what can help people and make them happy and also they think to be in good technology.

  • http://www.breastpumpdeals.com/medela-pump-in-style-advanced-backpack.html medela backpack

    Awesome! that video explains it all, I am really very very impressed, you are really very informative, I just love the way you go about it!

    Donna

  • jonmbutler111

    Chaffee’s approach is “if you build it they will eventually pay.” You definitely need tons of cash with a business plan like that. Build something first, get loads of users, then think of monetizing the service later, http://www.geonlineservice.com while bleeding money for a number of years. As we speak, they are seeking a second round of funding.

  • http://www.theveinclinic.com.sg/eng/varicose_veins.html Varicose Veins

    It's a little like the Matrix. Are we in it or out of it?

  • http://www.extremerestraints.com/dildos-and-insertables_180/the-anal-hook_2029.html anal hook

    Total Immersion should really be moved forward! Their 3D developments is so amazing!

  • http://www.bradfordsbakers.com Hampers

    Another awesome find here. Really a super hitech innovation that is worthy of our praise.

  • http://www.tbcco.com/ wheelie bin cleaning

    Wow! This post had me at awe. The works of AR are so fascinating that they had my jaw drop on the floor!

  • x-ray inspection

    AR is really amazing, shoot you did a 3 points you really did brought us a fascinating post that was so cool

  • http://cindyssexshop.com cindysdildovibrator

    cool its great to see new technology

  • http://the-review.info Blog_Review

    Very very interesting post..I like this one. gotta bookmark this one.

    Cheers,
    News Blog

  • http://www.buyawardsandtrophies.com/ Certificates

    The people behind the award winning Augmented Reality are kicking it big time! I'll definitely going to keep my eyes on their progress.

  • http://www.buyawardsandtrophies.com Awards

    The people behind the award winning Augmented Reality are kicking it big time! I'll definitely going to keep my eyes on their progress.

  • lalug57

    Great post. I work with CAD. And this is going to help me a lot.

    Thanks
    Regards

  • http://www.evokedesign.com/ miami website design

    Thanks for the tips on how to make a successful 3D design and I really enjoy watching those video it has an useful information I get. I try to work with CAD and I guess it has a guide on how to work on it.

  • http://http://www.userinsight.com/solutions/prototyping-and-wireframes prototyping research

    After reading your post.. I'm encourage study further more about CAD.. I know the basics but I want to enhance my skill in CAD more further..

  • Meerag

    Really good post on AR. I like it a lot & it is going to help me.

  • coldblood

    Augmented Reality is just another new technology that helps us see things in a new dimension.. Nice post dood.. thanks

  • fashionableshop
  • Sya

    CAD is very useful in my business.

  • http://www.escrubz.com/ wholesale scrubs

    better iphone design in the video and i have watch with pleasure.

  • http://www.ntteuropeonline.com/managedhosting.html Managed Hosting

    This is likely due to the HCI demands of the technology. The gimmick wears off quickly when you are planted in front of a TV screen and needs to be immersed in the real world for full impact.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/apex-professionals-services-llc Apex Professionals LLC

    I really enjoy watching those video it has an useful information I get. I try to work with CAD and I guess it has a guide on how to work on it.

  • http://www.badcreditloancenter.com/what-are-payday-loans-and-how-do-they-work/ payday loans

    Thanks for the tips on how to make a successful 3D design and I really enjoy watching those video it has an useful information I get. I try to work with CAD and I guess it has a guide on how to work on it.

  • http://www.worldcupsoccershirt.com World Cup Shirts

    After reading your post.. I'm encourage study further more about CAD.. I know the basics but I want to enhance my skill in CAD more further..

  • http://bridalshoweretc.com/around-the-clock-bridal-shower.php around the clock bridal shower

    He is currently working on a neat application of the technology where the AR pattern is laser cut into a wooden block. There has been a lot of experimentation with the Augmented Reality technology, but not as much with the physical side. Matt is a brilliant guy and hopefully these experiments are the start of a new product offering.

  • http://www.playedonline.com Free Online Games

    After reading your post.. I'm encourage study further more about CAD.. I know the basics but I want to enhance my skill in CAD more further.

  • http://www.loglod.com/ free games online

    Yap After reading your post.. I'm encourage study further more about CAD.. I know the basics but I want to enhance my skill in CAD more further.

Previous post:

Next post: