Another pragmatic example of Augmented Reality in your everyday life: Wikitude AR Travel Guide for mobile phones

YouTube – Wikitude AR Travel Guide

(runs on Android, Google’s cell phone software) „This video demonstrates the augmented reality camera view of Wikitude AR on a G1 phone from a beautiful viewpoint looking down on Salzburg.

Wikitude is a mobile travel guide based on Wikipedia and Panoramio. Search landmarks in your surroundings and view them on a map, list, and on an Augmented Reality (AR) camera view: What you see is an annotated landscape, mountain names, landmark descriptions, and interesting stories.“

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Ray-Ban offers Augmented Reality service to sell glasses online

Ray-Ban Virtual Mirror

Ray-Ban Virtual Mirror

Augmented Reality steps into our living-room with this new web service from Ray-Ban: All you need is a web cam and their software (PC only). Then you pick some glasses from the online catalogue and see yourself in a virtual mirror. Works especially great with sunglasses, since you see yourself just like others do for the first time. This I call a successful implementation of innovative technology for business purposes.

via Ray-Ban Official Website (click on „Virtual Mirror“ on the banner in the middle)

Arts & politics, anyone? Not only teens in Google’s Lively

There’s not only rampaging teenagers and dirty sex in Lively, Google’s virtual world of cartoon-like chat rooms. Or would you have thought that you’d find an art gallery with the title „Captured fractions of human history“ here?

Lively Gallery

This room belongs to Yaniv, a 36 year-old Jew from Israel who decorated walls and floor of his room with animated slideshows covering politics, art and history. The pictures in the backround are constantly updating themselves. We talked about religion and problems between fundamentalist Arabs and Jews and I learned that I would have been treated differently if I hadn’t told him I was married. Since you can pretend to be anything in a virtual world, carrying any name you choose, it is a good example of how important it is to take „virtuality“ seriously – social conventions are in the backpack of anybody logging into virtual worlds.

Because once you feel immersed you act like you would in the „real world“ – even if you’re just displayed like a cartoon-like Avatar.

If you use Windows you can have a look at the Exambitions Gallery right now (yeah I know that’s lame – Google doesn’t love Mac users):
www.lively.com/dr?rid=7746274979763050908

P.S. naturally I’ll never know if Yaniv isn’t in fact a teenager anyway(although I’m pretty sure because of our conversation)…nevertheless he created something interesting with that simple platform. Oh by the way here’s my „virtual meeting & presentation room“ in Lively, just in case. Here’s a picture of it (for Mac users – blame Google, not me):

Consiliera’s virtual meeting room in Lively

Social Research Foundation Survey Shows Increase in Professional Use for Second Life

There’s an increase in interest for professional use. That includes networking, researching, and running a Second Life business as well as conducting real-life business.

via Virtual Worlds News: Social Research Foundation Survey Shows Increase in Professional Use for Second Life >>

Full study on Metanomics.net by Robert Bloomfield: Professionals see their future in Second Life

Hangout.net – another room-based 3D virtual world

This is another room-based virtual world (working on both Mac and Windows!) , comparable with 3BRooms, Vivaty and JustLeapIn, seemingly addressing the teen crowd (their motto is „get a room“…) like Google’s Lively does. Facebook App included. The music in the video on their homepage is a little annoying after a few seconds but it looks like they have better web and media integration than Lively (which is not hard, I admit). It is still in closed beta and I hope I can get an invite soon to be able to test it. It’s been a Techcrunch50 winner and the official Metaverse evangelists of IBM Hursley have been playing around with it, too, so it could be a promising approach.

hangout.net room