Friday, February 26, 2010

expandAR - Augmented Reality

For the last month or so we've been keeping things lighter, looking at some extra-dimensional games, a Japanese anime about the multiverse, a humorous video about time travel, and some songs of mine recorded with my friends Roberta Nichol and Bob Evans. Let's finish off this series by talking about a new Augmented Reality visual toy we've just launched here at Talking Dog Studios: "expandAR". You can try it out yourself at

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's what it says on the website:

"expandAR" is a visual toy that uses face tracking and augmented reality for some hilarious and mind-altering effects. Once you've made note of the keyboard combinations for the effects you like you can call them up whenever you like. You can also play with this toy with more than one person - with practice you can play "ExpandAR Pong" and throw the effect from one face to another and back again.

Share your best expandAR photos with us! Just email your pictures to us and we'll put them in our gallery of crazy pictures made with this site. And once a month, the person who sends in our favorite picture will win a prize!
If you watch the above video for a few seconds at the 0:45 mark, you'll see an effect that's reminiscent of the video feedback effects we've used in quite a few of my video blogs. This one in particular reminds me of the effect we used in Randomness and the Missing 96 Per Cent.

A direct link to the above video is at

The subtitle for expandAR says "Expand Your Reality". Since Imagining the Tenth Dimension is all about visualizing the hidden patterns that connect things together, this toy does seem to have some resonances with this project. There are also some effects within expandAR that temporarily alter your perception of the world around you in ways similar to the "waterfall illusion", which we discussed in Illusions and Reality.

But first and foremost, what we're looking at is an open-ended plaything, something to stimulate your creativity and let you explore the possibilities. So have fun with expandAR, and enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Holograms and Quanta

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