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June 25, 2010 / annaellis

An afternoon of augmented reality

This afternoon I’ve been treating myself to ‘looking at good stuff on the internet’, a favourite pastime of many. I’ve been taking advantage of Cyfle’s printer so that I could try out some augmented reality items I’ve had my eye on for a while.

Augmented reality? What is it? – Its when something unreal is placed within the real world. A simple example is during TV coverage of football or rugby matches when the score is shown as if it has be painted onto the pitch.

armarker

The most common way that augmented reality is being used currently is through AR markers. These are symbols that when shown to a webcam display an image on the screen. Its being used a lot in advertising at the moment – a neat trick to get people involved in things…. especially if they are things that on the surface aren’t that interesting.

Here GE use augmented reality to get people interested in renewable energy:

Here is a demonstration of how Oasis have used augmented reality to create a game to support their advertising campaign that features a giant water hating duck. You can become the duck and destroy water:

My favourite that I’ve seen today is this one, in which you can play augmented reality drums:

Augmented Reality Drum Kit (demo #1) from squidder on Vimeo.

There are some disadvantages to augmented reality:
1. You need a webcam – not everyone has one but they are becoming standard spec for computers.
2. You need a print out of the marker. Not everyone has a printer, at least not at home. But there are ways of getting round this – sending out markers in the post, or using advertising space in newspapers or
magazines.

Basically I think AR is a really great way of getting people talking and getting people talking is something really special.

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