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

Friday, July 30, 2010

See a streak on facebook.

 No, not *that* kind of streak. I mean, this isn't that kind of blog. The Dell Streak, a 5 inch screen Android smartphone, now has a facebook app that can let you see what one of these would look like, in your hot little hands. Since I have to see things, (and share them with you), here's the vid:

It's a simple ARTag, with basic ar. And it's on Facebook (Hey, speaking of good ol' FB, why not 'like' us on our Facebook Page, and get your updates, as they happen? ( /shameless plug))

So, what's the big deal about a 5 inch screen? Check out this Engadget review for more.And, this Cnet Phone Reviews video :

It's definitely a big <phone/tablet>?, But I don't think the AR element is used to it's full potential. Certainly not the kind of effort I'd expect from Dell. Maybe they're just testing the AR waters. Anyways,  it's there, it's free, and now you know.

Go, and see.

Monster Media & Limited Space- a powerful combo.

While many of us , (here in the USA) may not have heard of them, it seems the good folks in the U.K. (yeah, U.K...again with the augmentation) Monster Media and Limited Space have entered a partnership, promising an impressive array of visual options for heretofore empty wall spaces. "Out with the old, in with the bold."

Static pictures just do not do this advertising medium justice. Want your daily dose of "Wow!"? Check out the Monster Media Demo Reel: "Mum, I'm going to the mall, to play some games". "There's no arcade, there" "Don't need one, I'm gonna go play with the adverts." Static advertisers would KILL for this kind of ad attention. (Note the number of people who engage with the ads)

Coming soon to a mall near you...if you live in the U.K., that is. 
"Curse you, U.K., and your crumpets, we have cookies!"

Press Release:
LONDON--(Marketwire - July 30, 2010) -  Companies now have a better way to reach their target audience and engage consumers on a whole new level, due to a recent partnership agreement between two local media companies.
Monster Media, the global leader of out-of-home interactive advertising, has teamed up with Limited Space, the leading supplier of media in premium UK shopping malls, to rollout their interactive technology in premium malls across the UK.
These interactive "billboards" will transform Limited Spaces' network of giant digital sites into cutting edge dynamic displays that offer clients endless possibilities, such as: gestural interaction, multi-touch interaction, augmented reality and mobile phone interaction where your mobile actually controls the ad.
"We are thrilled to have a long-term, exclusive contract with Limited Space and are looking forward to placing our interactive technology in their malls throughout the UK," said David McKie, managing director of Monster Media UK. "Monster Media already has a strong presence in upscale malls throughout the globe and this new partnership is a natural and major step in our strategy to aggressively expand our presence throughout the UK."
McKie says they will be installing their one-of-a-kind engaging displays in the 15 flagship malls within the Limited Space network, including: The Bullring, The Metro Centre, Cabot Circus, Highcross and Bluewater.
"We were looking for an out-of-home partner that is constantly reinventing themselves and pushing the envelope, and that is what pulled us strongly towards Monster Media," said Matt Gordon, owner of Limited Space. "We are both the leaders in our respective fields and I have no doubt that this partnership will increase the effectiveness and success of both companies."
Recent Limited Space campaigns include: BMW, THQ, Paramount, P&G, Cadburys, Sega, Adidas, Peugeot, Orange and T-Mobile.
Monster Media's current client list includes: Microsoft, Nintendo, Warner Bros Films, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, YouTube, Anheuser Busch, McDonalds, Kraft, CoverGirl and many more.
Monster Media's UK operation is based in Queens Park, London, but also has roots around the globe including: US, UK, Canada, Europe and South Africa.
About the company:
Monster Media remains the leader of advertising that responds to consumers' body movements and storefront domination programs. Their ability to deliver quality programs and customer service has allowed them to expand their presence across the globe with network applications including: storefront dominations, mass transit, airports, sport and entertainment venues and custom events. Since its inception in 2003, Monster Media has executed nearly 300 storefront ads globally and worked with clients such as HBO, Lexus, Target, Microsoft, MTV and Timberland to bring their messages to life. All campaigns are monitored and maintained around the clock by Monster Media. For more information on Monster Media, please go to: www.monstermedia.net.

Iron Man 2 -looking foward by looking back.

Not new, (came out in April), but it's a slow news day,  but we haven't at least glossed over it, so we'll give the Iron Man 2 AR a little love. Hopefully, you've seen the movie, so the visuals will make sense.This is less about the product and more about the art of it all.
Take this video, for example. While the augmented helmet is a fun little app, take a thoughtful look at the 'heads up' simulation:

Although it's "just" high budget viral marketing, (like Stark Expo 2010 ), some of the visuals presented represent a pretty solid artistic view of augmented reality, as it may (eventually) be incorporated. Give me a pair of Vuzix Wrap920AR's, and a HUD app like that, and I'll be a happy witch. But the vision extends past the theoretical product, and even visualizes the theoretical advertising. Take thes (fake) ads, for example, (and tell me the 'cordco' tab doesn't smack of TED talks) :

Tell me you won't see advertising like this, one AR becomes "mainstream" for the masses. You betcha, you will. Even though it's all fictional at the moment, ( remember, 'men on the moon' was once fictional), I think the visual representation, (of the visual representation) may be a driving factor. Like the oft-mentioned "minority report interface", which has become more real HERE and HERE, or like the Old Star Trek Tri-corders (iPhone, anyone?), the fictional tech of yesterday becomes the 'everyday' tech of tommorow.

Although I doubt we'll have flying combat suits anytime soon, the slicker, data-rich augmented reality views of IronMan 2 are much more feasible, and honestly quite appealing.

And be sure to check out the LG Iron Man app site. for the LG Ally and it's  Android 2.1 apps

(video, courtesy Total Immersion/ D'Fusion)

Let's not forget to put the art in AR.

Go, and see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Total Immersion-HIRING

This is hot. Not so much " AR news", as an awesome opportunity. "Fortune favors the bold", and this is THE company for AR. (and hey, if you get the job, let's not forget your friends at c0dehex, huh? ) On a "less-than-altruistic" note, If I qualified, I wouldn't post this, but I'd be too busy applying.


We are currently looking for Los Angeles-based Contractor engineers who are proficient in C++, Java, or Lua scripting to learn additional skills in our proprietary software platform (D’Fusion) in order to perform contract work for Total Immersion.
We will pay to train experienced C++, Java, or Lua programmers for 2 days on our exciting AR technology.  The pay rate for the two-day training will be $100/day.  The training will take place on Tuesday, August 17th and Wednesday, August 18th.
Once trained, TI services team will identify opportunities for you to work on-site on specific projects on a Contractor basis.  Salary DOE.
The ideal candidate will:
  • Have 1-3 years of game developer experience preferred.
  • Have experience with 3D and 2D (preferred.)
  • Have experience with Lua, C++ or Java.  Ogre experience also a plus.
  • Understanding of real time video formats and aspect ratios
  • Work with Design and Engineering team to create the best solutions to quickly integrate our software on the customer end.
  • React to design changes quickly with support for new or changed features.
****CANDIDATE MUST BE AVAILABLE TO ATTEND TRAINING ON Tuesday, August 17th and Wednesday, August 18th IN LOS ANGELES in order to be considered for the position.
If interested, please submit your resume and cover letter to melissa.mcmanigal@t-immersion.com

Parrot AR drone now for pre-order.

For those who have been haven't been following, the Parrot AR Drone quadricopter, a wi-fi controlled flying vehicle with multiple cameras is now available for pre-order via Brookstone. ($300)
Normally, this kind of device would fall more into the 'telepresence' category, but it does have augmented reality features, in the form of AR games.

Here's a smaple of the Augmented Gaming:

Want to see how cluttered you gutters are? Now you can, without the ladder. This thing has as much tech as a new smartphone. Accelerometers, gyrometers, *2* cameras, sonar, and an ARM9 processor.

It's a "fun" little device, that you can control with your iPhone , iPod Touch, or iPad. And it's a helluvalot less expensive than buying a Draganfly. And you can co-op with multiple players.

Don't have the $300? You can try to win one (until 31 December 2010 ), at the uber-slick Pilot Test site

Either way, you'll be seeing these around. SkyNet, anyone?

Go, and see.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Scrying Game- July, 2010

Well, I haven't used any "witchy magic" metaphors, lately, so I figured I'd throw it in for what will be the first of a monthy review of "The State of Consumer Ready" Augmented Reality. It's not based on any hard-numbers, (although c0dehex does have a Pro Analyst on the team...more later). It's based of web developments over the past 30 days.

Yes, I know the first "30 day" review dates back further than this tender young blog, but we have to start somewhere, right?

Based on July's articles, here's the list of who/what to keep an eye on. There's plenty of "movers and shakers", but these are the ones that stand out.

Tech Trend:Tagless AR. Sigh, although we'll see QR codes, and proprietary ARTags, the future belongs to tagless. If anything, for a while, products will continue to use ar tags  to alert users about ar content, or QR code their web address of download URL, we'll (overall) see less black-and white MRC, and more picture based AR.

The Big Dog : Total Immersion

Total Immersion, with their D'Fusion technology, proven consumer-ready marketplace products, tagless ar, and impressive client list, are sitting at the top..at least for the moment. Having experienced their Avatar iTag and 7-Eleven/WWE augmented Rey Mysterio mask firsthand. I can firmly state that TI, if they keep their momentum, will stay on top for the forseeable future.

"The" Browser/ Techs: Layar

The Layar Browser has become almost the "default" ar browser.

With it's ever expanding apps and implementation , Layar is firmly planted, providing intuitive user experiences.

Hottest contender: Metaio. Utilizing Junaio Glue, this tagless tech , if embraced could become "the adobe flash" of ar browsers. Even Adobe has big news, but imo, they're arriving to the party, a bit late.

Most Augmented Country: The U.K.

Yup. Home of tea and crumpets. Maybe it's all the rain, that keeps them indoors, coding a rainless augmented reality. Recent Augmented Reality for the United Kingdom include Cassette Playa's AR fashion show, Conspiracy for Good, and Museum of London's StreetMuseum, ( to name a few)

Smartphone Wars: Droid X.

Yup, giving this one to Droid, atm. (no blatant favoritism, here). With the iPhone's market dominance you'd think this one would be easy, but their recent bungles,and Droid X's recent sellout, I'm leaning towards droid, and the growing droid market, for both phones and apps.

Hottest contender : Samsung Galaxy S. The Force is strong, in this one.

"WOW Item of the month: Toxin Labs Augmented Business Cards.

This was a tough call. A lot of "New", "now" and "wow" to cover, so it's about lasting impressions, and I think out of all that came this way, the AR business cards are the one that sit on top of my "Wow, *have* to get one of those" list.

 Where do we go from here? Time is the revealer of all truths.
 Go, and see.

Deadliest Catch, Discovery Channel AR .

Discovery Channel has a new print ad game, powered by Total Immersion's D'Fusion. This game is to help promote the season finale of Deadliest Catch, a reality show chronicling several Alaskan crab fishing ships in their dangerous annual harvest.

Using just the tagless print ad (found in varied magazines), users navigate the "Big Catch" vessel through the waves, trying to catch 20 pots in 2 minutes. All user control is from rotating/tilting the print ad. .

Go, and see.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Audi "carless" (AR) Car calendar. (video)

This news isn't "uber fresh", but worth passing along., I've read about this, but couldn't find anything "re-broadcast worthy", until now. The Audi Augmented Reality car calendar...in video.  We all know car enthusiasts *love* their particular brands, right? You can always find a car calendar somewhere, but not like this one. Audi has taken the next step: A car calendar without cars.

To view the cars, you download an iPhone app, and hold it up to the background images, and the Audi(s) come to life.

Now, how practical is this? Are you really going to fire up your smartphone, everytime you want to check the calendar? Probably not. But for an AR enthusiast, or an Audi enthusiast, this will definitely be a historic collector's item.

Just a little something to while away your time.

Go, and see.

Everything is bigger in....Brazil?!?

This is just plain cool. With augmented reality, the size of an object is not restricted by the conventional laws of physics. No worries about mass, gravity, aerodynamics, ect. You can make an object as big (or small) as you like. Want a dragon in the palm of your hand? No problem. Want something a little bigger? We can do that, too. Well, here's a shot, from a helicopter, of Brazil. I have never been to Brazil. I have friends that have. I hear it's nice. Now, thanks to AR, I've seen things that they haven't. Take a look:
Just another beautiful day in Brazil.

But wait! "One of these things is not like the other".  Can you find it? I couldn't.
Yeah, the entire building does not exist. It's augmented.

Don't believe me? I don't blame you. Check this out:

The Fibrasa Connection was recently awarded Guiness World Record status for world's largest augmented reality marker. Viva, Brazil! This is a visualization system for urban planning, helping to visualize the "finished product" before ground is even broken.

source: bdonline.co.uk

Go, and see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Augmented Sevenfold- Revolver Magazine

Revolver Magazine, the hard-hitting publication covering rock music, will be releasing a special QR-coded Collector's Edition magazing July 27th, in conjunction with Avenged Sevenfold's new album, "Nightmare".

The issue(s) (several variations) feature bonus content (pictures, music, video) encoded by the Australian company,  QMCODES.Check out your local retailer.

In depth article at California Chronicle.

Go, and see.

AR is Mysterio...us?

As part of the ongoing Slurpee nation , 7 Eleven has new WWE branded cups, which, when bought, can be redeemed for points. If that's all there was to it, we wouldn't cover it here, right? Right. So, there's got to be an AR catch in there, somewhere.
 And there is: an augmented reality download, (tagless) , powered by Total Immersion's d'fusion . It works really good, tracking your face, via your webcam, and overlays a Rey Mysterio mask, keeping track of your head movements.
The download costs 5 "points" (which is equivalent to a single cup purchase)

I've tried it, and it works good, (an no, I'm not posting pics. Just trust me, it works well.)
It's fun, inexpensive, and a great expos'e on ar. Go try it!

Go, and see.

The One that got away...CATCH.

Got fish?
Recently, the Nova Scotia Seafood Festival came up with an interactive, Augmented Reality promo for their annual expo on local seafood and culinary trends. Their AR contest featured a cute fish avatar that appeared on the user's screen, encouraging participation , and pointing them not only to the event itself, but the event's facebook page. According to the event's youtube video, the AR "instant win" promo helped garner loads of new visitors, and I have no problem believing that. Brand exposure was pervasive, without (imo) being intrusive. I know I'll remember it, and that's the sign of a good ad.Here's the vid from the event:

I never thought I'd think a fish would be 'cute', but there you go.

Go, and see.

Time Out New York’s Augmented Reality Cover Kid's Mag

TimeOut New York Kids, a magazine targeting the younger demographic, has launched it's own AR-augmented magazine cover (in the same fashion as the Esquire AR).The AR uses the Juniao Browser  to  connect you with a video of the Webby Award winning PS22 Chorus.

It's a great way to add a bit extra to print media. Kinda makes me want to sing, too. But that is something I'll spare you from. ;)

If you want to try it yourself, you can download the cover art HERE.

Go, and see.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Augmented Business Cards, nicely done.

We've seen some early AR business cards in the past, but I just stumbled across this one, and was left *very* impressed:

(You can check out the Development log HERE)

From augmentedbusinesscards.net 

In my humble opinion, this is how AR business cards should be done. Interactive, very slick, very professional, and very data-rich. You can use the card to launch contact via top social media sites, like Twitter.

Go, and see.

Up from the depths...Godzilla!

...of ComiCon, this neat new Godzilla shirt, complete with AR tag. Yup, AR as fashion:
Notice the design of the AR tag? It seem that Legendary Pictures is working on a new Godzilla movie. Talking Dog Studios had a hand in this shirt , and the active element of the shirt looks like this:

If you're not at ComiCon, but still want to experience the shirt, you can  download the picture HERE, and demo it HERE.

Go, and see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Advertising as a game metaphor

British Telecom company "o2" has released a free augmented reality app to increase it's brand awareness , following in the wake of it's Facebook game. These "niggles" are all broadband connectivity issues, personified. (Think Saatchi for Denno Coil) .
Remember, all these Seuss-like creatures are anthropomorphic representations of all the technical (and human) issues we deal with in our dail connectivity.

"Niggles are all around you. They're where you live, where you work, they're on the streets, in the parks, they're everywhere you go. By downloading the free augmented reality iPhone app, the first app of its kind, you can help O2 nobble broadband niggles wherever you are."

The iPhone game completely immerses the player in a fun, unique and unexpected way. Using the phone compass and GPS we could plot the players postion. Then when they held up their phone they could see the niggles lurking around them Augmented Reality using the phones camera.

The AR app lets you roam around (the U.K.), interracting with these whimsical characters.

And here's the app "in play":

It seems to me that the U.K. is fast becoming the "Tokyo of Augmented Reality". More often than not, "if it's ar, it can be traced to the U.K.". Hear that, "other countries"? Step up your game.

go, and see.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ARagorn's Quest augmented reality contest

To promote the release of Aragorn's Quest, a console game focusing on the Tolkien's famous Middle Earth King of Gondor, there is an augmented reality video contest
(click the link for the AR demo)

Participants need only print out a AR tag, and video themselves utilizing the AR fireball to be entered for a plethora of prizes. Contest ends September 28th.

Although there is no augmented reality in the game itself, this is yet another example of creative, and interactive advertising using AR as a "gee whiz" technology to garner interest. (And hey, the game looks pretty good, too.)

Will we see more AR utilization in the future? You bet.

Go, and see.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming soon, to a wallet near you

Z-Card, makers of the the unique pocket media card that unfolds like road-map origami, has announced a partnership with Total Immersion to provide augmented reality in it's products.

Given the amount of data a single z-card could hold (in barcode, QR, or semacode) there's a lot one could do with one, given the right vision.

"AR and 2D codes more than bridge the gap between print and digital – they offer a synergy with measurability and interactivity," said Z-Card managing director Liz Love. "Print and digital together can deliver tenfold on the results individually."

Z-Card’s pocket planner for the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival last month featured a QR Code that registered a 5% follow up from delegates. The firm was able to track what country the visitors came from and what mobile phone they were using

Full article at printweek.com

go, and see.

Oh, Brother. The AirScouter

Coming to you from Japan...eventually, the ( protoype) Brother AirScouter, a retinal scanning HMD for AR applications.
Although, in in trying to research this, I found another HMD to watch: The Kopin Golden-i :

Here's the video from the SlashGear review:

Pricing on these units are still a bit hefty, (and I'm holding out on a Vuzix Wrap 920AR) . Time, and marketing, will tell.

Go, and see.

The future of shopping

Well, this bodes well of the future of AR: Intel recently demonstrated (at ICES) it's digital signage, which featured augmented reality glass pane, reqiring no hardware from the user's end. Check this out:

 Pretty neat, huh? It's part of Intel's "connected store" strategy, where you and I may not be the market, but the end-user. Here's the concept, in brief:

You can expect to see more of this kind of technology in the fututre, as the battle for your retail purchases escalates.

Thanks to AR Newsroom and SmartPlanet for the tip.

Go, and see.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MS's Bing Maps, Augmented

From Ted Talks 2010. I had almost forgot about this video, but the previous post brought it to mind. In this video, they demonstrate *real time* video overlay augmentation, an ability which is nothing to sneeze at. Microsoft Bing Augmented mapping.

Go, and see.

Let's do the Time Warp again

The vennerable Museum of London has a cool new app of it's own : Streetmuseum. This cool geospatial app allows you to look back in time, as you stroll London's streets, seeing a locale "as it was", via 200+ archived images, some dating back as far as 1666.

This app is Free. Yup, this is about education, and perspective windows, frozen in time, overlaid in the 'here and now'.

This app is kinda cool, in a couple ways, to me. First of all, it's about education, not commerce. Ever wonder who Emmeline Pankhurst was? What it looked like seeing her hauled away from Buckingham Palace? You can stand in the actual spot where the image was taken, and it will overlay in a kinda phantasmal window frozen in time.
Or, how about a music festival in Hyde Park, circa 1970? (Pink Floyd?)

I,. myself , think this is a great way of implementing historical documentary into AR. I'd like to see more.

Original article at Metro

Go, and see..

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Augmented Stone gathers no moss.

“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need”...do you want it/need it in digital? Yup.




The Rolling Stones have a new App out. "Exile on your street"

Using the  Layar browser (quickly becoming the 'default' browser of AR) , you can now been your own Augmented Street Team, posting augmented posters, (and music tracks) from TRS, Available from both the website and via a Facebook App, for your 3Gs IPhone, iPhone4, and Droid Smartphones.

If The Stones are doing Augmented Reality, then AR just got a helluvalot 'cooler'. Now, if Aerosmith got in to counter this....sorry, just *have* to 'vote up' the Home Team.

Thanks to InventorSpot for the tip!

This is just the start, my friends. The tsunami is building.

Go, and see.

Conspiracy for Good

Brought to you by Tim Kring (of Heroes fame) , and the Nokia X6 , Conspiracy for Good looks to be one heck of an adventure, albeit limited in participation by geographic restraints.

It's an advanced experiment in interactive storytelling, with real-world implications for assisting irl causes, blurring the line between what is "real", and what is possible.

A few years ago I started thinking about an entirely new way to tell a story, far different from traditional TV. I didn’t just want to talk about “saving the world” in fiction, I wanted to create a narrative that spilled out into the streets. One that you could live inside of for a while. How cool would it be, I thought, to create a story that exists all around you all of the time? — On your laptop, your mobile phone, on your sidewalks, as a secret message hidden in your favorite song or while standing at the bus stop on your way to work.
A few years ago I started thinking about an entirely new way to tell a story, far different from traditional TV. I didn’t just want to talk about “saving the world” in fiction, I wanted to create a narrative that spilled out into the streets. One that you could live inside of for a while. How cool would it be, I thought, to create a story that exists all around you all of the time? — On your laptop, your mobile phone, on your sidewalks, as a secret message hidden in your favorite song or while standing at the bus stop on your way to work.

Read more about Conspiracy For Good by http://www.conspiracyforgood.com/aboutA few years ago I started thinking about an entirely new way to tell a story, far different from traditional TV. I didn’t just want to talk about “saving the world” in fiction, I wanted to create a narrative that spilled out into the streets. One that you could live inside of for a while. How cool would it be, I thought, to create a story that exists all around you all of the time? — On your laptop, your mobile phone, on your sidewalks, as a secret message hidden in your favorite song or while standing at the bus stop on your way to work.

Read more about Conspiracy For Good by http://www.conspiracyforgood.com/aboutI personally love the idea. Ghandi  said "be the change you want to see in the world" , and by using augmented reality, and social participation, one could argue, philosophically, at least, that the adventure *is* real. It's always been my belief that our (collective) "reality" is nothing more than where our individual "realities" intersect. By  taking what is basically a flash mob, combining it with (very) interactive storytelling, (including apps ), Tim has produced an augmented story that potentially benefits the physical sphere which we all share.

Who's to say that the villain "isn't real"? Where "truth" depends on your perception, the CfG villian is no less real than you are. What will you do about it, if anything?

I will be watching this experiment with keen interest...and a burning itch to go to London.

Go, and see.
Stay Augmented

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sky Seige, Android AR

Well, maybe you can't get your Droid X, just yet, but at least you can play Sky Siege, an AR FPS sim for all android-compatable smartphones, from Simbiotics.

And, if you score high enough, you can unlock a special "helicopter" mode.

sample graphic from simbiotics page

Go, and see.

Putting the Art in AR. ART+COM

Let's take a moment, if we may, to back up from the pure tech aspect of Augmented Reality, and look at it from the artistic side. We know AR is likely to be around a while, but do we want it to all be "talk bubbles"? Of course not. To give the Digital Art Layer a more concrete permanence (ironic, I know), we can't forget to add art to the augmented layer.

To that end, if you don't know him/them already, I'd like to introduce you to Joachim Sauter , the Founder and Director of Design at Art+Com, a design house for interactive media. They have some visually stunning projects going on.
The video from The Creators Project must be seen to truly appreciate the art.

From The Independent: "His work covers everything from technologies including augmented reality, (dinosaurs in the Berlin’s Natural History Museum becoming digitally fleshed out through the use of cameras and 3D modelling software), to mixtures of digital and physical reactions; one of the most impressive of his examples was a Tokyo installation in which the footprints of participants go from ripples of LED lights to physical waves on a nearby water feature. Much of it has to be seen to be believed (perhaps proving his point), but the central argument of much of work is the same: that we’re in the midst of a digitally-enabled ‘renaissance of the space’, as the talk was titled."

It's my personal hope that the creativity and ideas, such as fostered at ART+COM do indeed filer over to the Augmented Layer in AR, because AR serves as a potentially explosive art medium, given the chance. Yes, AR needs it's technicians, (artists of another sort, really), but who will paint the unseen?

Go, and see.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hoopla for Hoppola!

 Now Here's an idea that will get you digital graffiti artists salivating: Hoppola! First, of course, "the vid":

Well, it certainly looks easy, huh? with no software download, Layar integration, and simple interface you can augment the actual spot where "Harry met Sally ", our "Our first Kiss", or "Joe X got dumped here" . Just imagine, the legions of Layar 'developers' could outnumber those on MySpace and Facebook..oh. wait a minute. Maybe that's a bit *too* accessible. Again, the need, in advance, for an "AR Filter"

"HOPPALA! Augmentation provides an easy way for non-technical creatives to start experimenting with augmented reality and Layar. Create your own augmented reality experiences with just some mouse clicks and publish your work at Layar, the world‘s largest augmented reality platform."

Define "non-technical creatives", plox.  "I iz l33t enuf 4 Layar.". *shudder*

Full article at Wired.

Go, and see.

X marks the spot...on the empty shelf.

In bittersweet news today, the awaited Droid X from Verizon sold right the heck out. Yay for the brand, and for the competitive feild of open source smartphones. Boo, if you just *had* to get one NOW.

According to Android Central,
"And just as we figured, stores have mostly sold out, and Verizon's website now has the badge the Droid Incredible hopefuls have come to know all too well -- the Droid X is now labeled as "Will be shipped by 7/23." (Note that it says "by" and not "on," m'kay?) Hopefully we won't see that date march steadily backward like we have the on the DInc."

Says Verizon
"This has been a very good day one for Droid X sales. Customers were in line at midnight in some markets, in other places there were lines when the stores opened and in other stores there has been a steady stream of customers. We have been successful at keeping up with early demand but at present inventory in some parts of the country inventory is either low or out. (It truly varies around the country.) Since we have weekly shipments planned, customers can still order phones and can expect them to be shipped on or before July 23. This link shows you some of the excitement from midnight in Columbia, MD."

As for me, I likka-to-see  iPhone not getting each and every bit of smartphone spotlight, ( and their antenna issue response by the execs just makes the corporation look that much worse). I'm no Verizon fan, but I am a Droid fan... more specifically, an "open source" fan.

go, and see.

Moovision, and the future of digital clutter

Well, it's been out for "a while", now, Ben&Jerry's , the Ice Cream brand with the granola-crunchy, tree-huggy , greener-earth, fair-for-everyone appeal, has released "Moovision", in their Augmented Reality app for iPhone, "Scoop of Happiness". If you want, you can read about it here. (And of course, being a videophile, I have to post a demo of it, too):

Moo Vision

Now, don't get me wrong, I like Ben and Jerry's. I remember going to Vermont, to the B&J factory, and trying to share a "Vermonster" with my siblings in place of lunch...(we failed to finish it). I support their methodologies, and their ethics, and it's why I chose them for this piece, to soften my criticism of the near inevitable influx of "AR for the sake of AR". I can't help but be reminded of this video. Come to think of it, we need to have a "Spam" filter in AR's future. "Add company x to my AR block list".

Already, we've seen AR as the newest gimmick in advertising. ARTags, markerless AR (like Juniao's Glue). I have the "AR Edition" of Esquire,(which told me I needed a better video card), a handful of Avatar iTags,(which work just fine),  ect. Advertisers are blazing the trail for AR..and I fret about the direction, and it's implications.

Now, I know, "Hey, they paid for it, they should get what they want", which is fine. At the very least it will help distribute a more common awareness of AR in the general public (of whom which is still generally unaware). Problem is, is all they see AR as is an advertising medium, or a virtual game medium, or even a 'geek toy' medium, then the future and scope of AR is going to be really limited.

There are plenty of apps out there, but few, (if any) have risen to become the "must have" app. The Internet was a much quieter place before the "WWW" App came out. Again, it comes to standardization, and there's plenty of 'industry changing' changes coming down the virtual pipe, but right now, you may as well point your AR browser around, and view the Wild Augmented West. "Hey, look, those two browsers are having a dual at high noon!".

I suppose that with a greater influx of smartphones..(and not just the iPhone).. and agreement of the different archmages on a common set of parameters, when the dust settles, we can get a unified 'baseline' for AR, and develop from there. If AR becomes a "product x is the new product a", consumers will tire quickly, and move on to whatever shiny pixels the advertisers send at them next. And, with the general attention span of Mr. And Mrs. Average Consumer being what it is, it's about time someone really gets their interest, and educate them.

Since AR is (generally) a "view only" experience ( AR will never take out your trash, or wash your dishes) without the inclusion of telepresence or robotics, developers should take heed, else this technology will just be the next best way to watch Hulu " on the go", and we can already do that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eco Friendly AR Water Bottles

Greensender.com is now marketing customizable AR-marked water bottles with it's 3DBottle product.
The new 3DBottle from Greensender

Following the rising trend with Home Depot and Atomic Greetings, these water bottles feature an AR tag that will display a user-defined video, (this one in a pop-up drive in theater).They also have a downloadable .pdf and test marker to let you 'try before you buy". Soon enough, we'll have ARTag keychains, coffee mugs, and any other swag you can slap an tag on. I like this idea. The more portable, everyday objects I can carry around are that many more personal videos I can view, or show off, at whim.

From the website:

"3DBottles are a Greensender original product that uses a new technology called Augmented Reality to bring a new level of fun to your reusable water bottle. Enjoy the surprise every time you show it off to someone new. And keep it fresh by uploading a new video at any time at no additional cost to you. Let this personalized, custom laser-engraved bottle serve as your mini screening room throughout the year for your favorite home videos."

Thanks to ChipChick for the tip!

go, and see.

AR! There be pirates, mate,

Thanks to Optricks Media , Ltd, Those of you with Nokia, Sony-Ericsson and Samsung Smartphones running Symbian OS can now let the lead fly, anywhere, at any scale. AR! Pirates. :

"Use your phone’s camera and screen to shoot and sink virtual ships that appear integrated to the real world via augmented reality. (Ed: But there's no Johnny Depp....) Play at any scale! Use coins as markers for small ships on your desk or play with gigantic ships in the park using three flying discs (or paper plates from your picnic lunch). But be careful–the larger the markers, the more active you have to be when playing the game!"

Thanks to Augmented Planet for the tip.

Go, and see.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Augmented cards.

Hot on the heels of the Home Depot Gift cards, Atomic Greetings has personalized greeting cards, enhanced with user-defined video. Videos for making, (and viewing a card can be found at AG's YouTube channel HERE )

Atomic Greetings EVX marker sample

Read the full article at Augmented Planet.

Go, and see.
Stay Augmented