Thursday, April 30, 2009

WWF Augmented Reality

We've been playing with Augmented Reality here at Talking Dog Studios for several months now, starting to get client interest but I can't show you any demos until their projects are launched. Back in March, in More on Augmented Reality I showed some of the video demos of other people's Augmented Reality projects, and I told you about the Doritos Canada contest entry we put together that features an augmented reality mascot bursting out of the bag. Two weeks ago I told you about the coincidence that Doritos Brazil has just launched a campaign using a similar idea. To be clear, I'm not suggesting Doritos Brazil stole our idea, big ad campaigns generally take months to put together, so they were most likely well into their project when we put up our suggestion for Doritos Canada, as it was only a month before their launch.

Meanwhile, what people are achieving with Augmented Reality continues to leap forward. Check out this new ad campaign the World Wildlife Foundation is now running in China, which features a cute teddy bear interacting with any environment you happen to point your phone camera at:

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's an amazing magic sequence that shows some excellent sleight of hand combined with some ambitious augmented reality:

A direct link to the above video is at

As you can see, these types of presentations really take on additional life when what you're seeing is directly overlaid with the AR. Heads up displays for giving directions while driving, for instance, should be much safer when the directions are superimposed upon the real world rather than appearing in a little monitor in your dashboard:

A direct link to the above video is at

With those applications in mind, we're very interested to see this product when it comes out this fall:

Check out the specs for these at

But even holding a smart phone in your hand and being able to point it at any object so that it becomes your "second set of eyes" has many exciting possibilities. Watch this video and think about how much of a boon this will be for the visually impaired, or even as part of the real-time input to an Artificial Intelligence system:

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's another interesting demo showing an augmented reality experiment designed to test people's fear response to what the AR overlay is showing them:

A direct link to the above video is at

If you compare these demos to the ones I posted in March and in January, you might see why I find this technology so exciting - the possibilities are opening up so quickly!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

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