"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" -Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coming to a Jumbotron near you. (Blame Canada)

Okay, first today, it was the Brits, now it's the Canadians. What the heck? Anyways, here we go:

We all know what a JumboTron is, right? It's been the saving grace of those stuck in the 'nosebleed' sections of the stadiums, for years, now. Thanks to Ad Dispatch, that same screen, which provides replays, score overlays, and "kiss cams", can now bring it's audience participation to the next level: Augmented Reality in the Stadium.

Now, everyone can (potentially) be a Cheesehead. or other hardcore fan, without the odd stares in traffic. I can imagine this same technology used in concerts and 'professional' wrestling, as well.

Go, and see.

Gime a break! Kit Kat Scouting for Girls.

 You know, I really got to think about moving...to the U.K. They're positively hammering the rest of the world, in terms of embracing augmented reality. My latest proof? Kit Kat . No, not the U.S. Kit Kat, oh no. That would be too easy for me to get a hold of. The U.K. Kit Kat has an upcoming promotion featuring ar tagging on it's product that, when played, features a cool little music video by Scouting for Girls, a British pop band.

My opinion? Positively brilliant. Great use of marketing, brand awareness, and "hip-and-now" savvy. Did you know that Kit Kat has been around sine the 1930's? (as Rowntree's Chocolate Crisp )? Now, they've got AR, too.

Those Brits are making me jealous. Maybe we shouldn't have had that Revolution.

Go, and see.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The potential to revive "dead" media.

 Well, we've all heard that "print media is dead/dying", right? A disposable print medium will never keep up with the insta-click updated internet, right? Perhaps not. Take this video, for instance, from Kompas, one of Indonesia's largest newspapers.

"A newspaper?" you ask? "That's so 20th century". But wait! Recently, Kompas began distributing on the iPad, as well. Paperless newpapers. We'll see plenty of that.

But, ever so often, I've heard "reading digital isn't *the same* as holding wood pulp fiber in your hands. True, enough, but what if your "newspaper" was nothing *but* augmented? Blank pages filled with QR codes, ARtags, ect, that are "hot linked" to the distributor's daily issue, or *past issues*. "One paper, to read them all" kind of thing. Instead of buying new paper, every day. You buy a single, heavy-duty "paper". More often than not, news agencies that distribute print also have a web presence. Why not link the two?

The one drawback to this, at the moment, is the lack of affordable HMD's. You can't very well read your newspaper while holding your smartphone, right? Just imagine, for a moment if you will, the above issue of Kompas, while wearing a pair of Vuzix Wrap 920AR's. That might be the game changer. Media producers could minimize their overhead, environmental impact could be reduced, and you could carry the Boston Globe, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ect, ect, in one "paper", that you never have to "forget" on the commuter rail.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Augmented reality. Better the flowers?

 The people at Elipse have unveiled their new ad for their augmented reality t-shirts. (Yup, "AR as fashion", again) . Check out this video, from their YouTube channel) , and tell me what you think.

Like it? Okay, maybe not the ad, itself, but the product? I know I'd like one. You can customize your own, now, at their website, augmentedrealitytshirt.com . Also, be sure to check out their primary web page for other ar-related products.

Go, and see.

Art, and the vision to apply it, Tensai.

I've been waiting for this one to be available, because I wanted you to see it. My friend Rodrigo just emailed me, to let me know "It's time". Rodrigo is the co-founder of Tensai, a service offering web design and, (since they're listed here), augmented reality. I've always been a fan of the entrepreneur, and the Team at Tensai has come up with some really relevant ideas.

The one that really impressed me is one of the most practical, and "do-able now" ideas. One of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments. Check out this video, and tell me this wouldn't be something every video store owner should have at their stores:

This idea would have saved me many a bad rental, (and encouraged a few good ones).
This needs to be done, and the Team at Tensai can do it.

You can check out the video at their YouTube page, or just go visit them directly at ARTensai. Available in English and Espanol.So, go check out Tensai, and show them a little love., (and tell them AutumnalDusk sent you).

My best regards to Rodrigo and Team, for their future, and the future of augmented reality.

Go, and see.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

i Spy , with my little eye..Spyglass 3.0

Happymagenta has announced Spyglass 3.0 available for download at the app store.

In this update :Optimized for iPhone 4, 3GS and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G* (iOS 4.x, 3.2.x and 3.1.x), Gyroscope aided compass and improved motion dampening

For those not familiar with the app, here's a demo video (ver 2.2):

As apps like this get more and more refined, there's gonna be less need for a "standalone' gps system.

Go, and see (where you're looking)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Medical Practice. "Put your back into it" with AR.

 "Doctors only practice medicine, because nobody's got it perfect, yet". Okay, maybe that's not *totally* accurate, but you get the idea. Say you need to go in for invasive surgery, you want to make sure the guy (or girl) 'with the knife' knows what they're doing, right? Well, a surgeon has to get practice *somewhere*, and nobody I know wants to be the test dummy.

Fortunately, Haptica, has a spinal surgery simulator, using augmented reality. Think of it as a *really* high tech version of the old classic game "Operation" Unlike a simple video game, this gives the operator a physical sense, as well as visual feedback, in which to hone their skills.

 Not that I'd ever want spinal surgery, but if I did, instead of asking "Where did you go to med school?", I could ask "What's your high score on Haptica?"

Unlike the current "question" (asked by Mike Elgan)  "Is augmented reality just a cheap gimmick?", this example is solid proof that AR can be practical, useful, (and not require facial recognition), in the here-and-now.

Go, and see.

Be all that you can (augmentedly) be. US Army AR.

The United States Armed Forces have been creative in enticing young potential recruits to sign up. Not an easy task, considering the ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army has been particularly agressive in targeting the video game demographic, using game simulators to "educate and inform" potential recruits of the excitement and flag-waving patriotism of serving in the military. (As a former Marine, I can take a "been there, done that" attitude). I wonder if they'll come up with a "Stand Inspection" simulator, or a "it's time for Field Day!".or at least a multiplayer game of "March in Formation". (I hear the Navy might get a "scrape and paint" simulator...just kidding.

Any potential political landmines aside, let's look at the Army's current offering: Augmented NASCAR, in it's "Race For Strength Challenge" where you can download, print, and "drive" the #39 Ryan Newman car.In partnership with  Total Immersion. AT the irl venues, you can try your hand at simulated combat vehicles.

This is also part of the 'mobile market tour', being given by both the US Army and US Air Force.

A shot from within the Air Force's Command Center Alpha,

Semper Fi. Marines play "augmented Reality" with paintball guns.

Go, and "see, all that you can see".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My iQ just exploded...augmentedly.

 The Toyota iQ, (also known, in various configurations, as the Scion iQ, ), is a uber-cute little "smartcar". While we're not a "car blog", we *are* an "AR blog", and aside from the slick iQ feature (be sure to 'click to discover more') on the Toyota site, there is also an AR app to 'take this little beauty for a test spin'. (Gee, I sound like I should be wearing a plaid jacket, and a bad toupee).

It's a fun, (and free) way to play around with AR in the "here and now". As for actually driving an iQ? Well, let's just say I'm tempted. Great salesmanship at work.

Go, and see.