"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.

Invizimals-Move over Pokemon.

Now out for the Sony PSP, (For Europe and Australia), a monster collector game that makes Pokemon look "so last year". Invizimals uses your PSP camera , equipped with a Go!Cam, you can hunt , trap, and battle creatures in Augmented Reality. (Who says you need a smartphone to experience AR?)
Sony isn't new at AR, either. Remember Eye of Judgment? "Oh yeah...that game!" High quality is a Sony tradition, imo, and it seems to hold true here, as well.

Check out this Gamespot video. Sure, the interviewee is awkward, but the video gives you a really good feel for how the game flows..Expected NA release is Q3 2010 (in roughly 50 days).

 I like the fact that good AR isn't being confined to "smartphones". Given the power, (and number) of PSP's out there, hooking the young gamers of today is seeding the AR-competent consumers of tomorrow. For as long as there's a market, the technology can only increase, and we all win.

Go, and see.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pirata Boat Race

Ahoy, there! I loves me a good piratey-themed game, and this one looks fun. This one takes the augmented reality to an interesting place. First, you download the app to your iPhone/iPad, Then, you go to the game website, and sync your app to the game. To play, you utilize the accelerometers in your phone to "row" your way to viscory. Just think, your umpteen dollar iPhone/iPad can now act as a Wii remote!

Brought to you by piratalondon.com

I think this is a really creative way to use *all* the resources AR can bring to bear.

 Sync your camera app to the pc screen ar tags. Genius!

Go, and see.

Visions of the future, in 3D

ImmesiveTech.org just posted this great video from Keiichi Matsuda, which was recently shown at the London's 3D festival. Why does the video look "off"? Because it's meant to be viewed in 3D, but you get the idea, even without stereoscopic projection, or those funky red-and-blue lenses.

Very reminiscent of the Domestic Robocop video, I had to laugh watching all the little adverts following the guy down the street. Reminded me heavily of Denno Coil. (At least they could be filtered, and don't contribute to global pollution)

imtech will be holding an immersive technology summit, 10-21-10. And while you're at it, be sure to check out some of their videos. Brain Candy stuff, there.

go, and see.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Augmented Sexuality (SFW)

Title catch your interest? The fact that you're here proves the marketing department correct. *sigh* The "SFW" denotes "Safe For Work", not Shockwave Flash.
Augmented Reality is a visual medium, and more and more it's become a marketing medium. Since "sex sells", both the geeks and the marketing companies raise their cry in unison:"Let there be women!".

Let's face it: being physical creatures, it's only natural that "Human Nature" will permeate everything we do, and the same marketing that drove development of home video, the internet, and late-night "chat lines" will be present in every form of advertising from cave paintings to augmented reality. (And yes, companies like Pink Visual are working on it).  Let's take a brief, (and SFW) look at what has been done. Your imagination will naturally "fill in the blanks".

Example 1: Lynx Mynx Magnet

A natural extension of technology brought to you by the "cheeky monkeys" at Lynx, (known for their funny and blatantly suggestive ads, known  also by the "Axe" brand), these guys have social demographic targeting down to a near science. The above video is for the "Lynx Mynx Magnet" , where the "Lynx Mynx" denotes their user-voted models, from the  "Lynx Lounge After Hours"

Example 2 : Virtual Suzi

 "Gawd, I love women with British accents. Especially if they're in full leather. Especially, especially if they know geek tech" Yes, you can have Suzi Perry (presenter from The Gadget Show) in the palm of your hands...as if you wouldn't be eating out of hers, right? You can check her..uh, I mean 'the technology', out HERE.

Example 3:Playboy Magazine

Of course, the world's most famous magazine, (read globally "for the articles" ), would push the marketing envelope, right alongside Esquire, right?

Is this an exhaustive list? Certainly not. And the industry, as always, will push the technological envelope. There's more out there, and there will be ever more to come, unless Human Nature suddenly nullifies itself...and I doubt that's gonna happen.

viZoo HD augmented Reality

Well, here's a neat video from the company, viZoo. Check out their video (below) and prepare to be impressed. With the combination of real world objects, and seamless virtual ones, the Flare 320 makes for a stunning visual.It's so slick and streamlined, you gotta wonder what makes this "magic box" tick?( hint: Think "smoke and mirrors") Sure, it *looks* like it might be a microwave, but it's High Definition makes you question what is real, and what is rendered..and that's High Art, in my opinion. When you watch it for the first time, see if you can distinguish the real from the augmented, before it becomes obvious.

The Green Hornet AR.

As part of the advertising release for the upcoming Columbia Pictures release "The Green Hornet", (based on the radio show from the 30's, and the 1966 movie, ), you can experience the "Black Beauty" (GH's version of the Batmobile), at it's own site: experienceblackbeauty.com . You first need to download, print and fold the marker, and let the games begin! With the marker you can watch the trailer, but that's not the fun stuff. The fun is rotating the marker to fire missles, flame throwers, and the Gatling Gun. Suh-weet!

The Marker, minus the marketing.

Let's fire up this bad-boy. Batmobile, move over.

Invisible concrete...well, sort of.

Wow, miss a few days (camping off the digital grid) and you miss a lot, So, I'll be playing a bit of 'catch up' for the next few posts. Here's a neat little art installation , utilizing the concepts of AR (without a HMD/Smartphone), designed by Daniel Franke and Markus Kison, called "Durchsehen Exp. 01 (augmented perspective)",

Using a facial-recognition camera that calculates the viewer's angle of perspective, it overlays images (including a "pass through" view, as if one were looking *through* the solid block). Nicely done work. Who would have thought that the first Terminator would be made of concrete?

Go, and see.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The future is wild..and so is the past.

While stumbling about to absorb as much as possible of consumer AR, I found some related stuff, some new, some "old", all of it augmented. Let's start with the new: The Future is Wild, originally a British tv series for Animal Planet, chronicling speculative anthroplogies/ zoologies of the future.. I've seen the show, and enjoyed it. What I hadn't seen was the AR that has sprung up since.. Augmented reality for education, in the form of a 'living book" and  t-shirt.

And the futuroscope theme park, attraction: "Les Animaux du Futur" (this is in 2008 ):

Go, and see.

AR Wave simulator and more

The below video is from Takehiro Tawara, a Ph.D. in computer science,with a background in computer visualization,  using AR to conduct wave simulation.
I know this is for research, but my thought was "wow, that would be an awesomely soothing cubicle toy!"

Beats the heck out of a stress ball, I think.

And check out his video for Interactive Volume Segemntation, it strikes me as "MRI analysis of the future":

This is your brain. This is your brain on AR. Any questions?

Go, and see.