Augmented Reality is all over the place – is that a good thing?

GE Superbowl ad with Augmented Reality

Wikitude: Very useful application, available for G1 Android phones:

Sony’s virtual EyePet, living in your living room (coming soon)

UPDATE: I forgot another great business example: Ray-Ban offers Augmented Reality to sell sunglasses online


Augmented Reality in education: How kids learn Mandarin with a book, a cell and a panda

A book with special embedded pictures/codes and a cell phone with a camera is all you need to learn Mandarin from a 3D panda

A book with special embedded pictures/codes and a cell phone with a camera is all you need to learn Mandarin from a 3D panda

I have done a little research about Augmented Reality (AR) lately and this is one of the few really useful examples of  AR solutions for books that I have found (unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of it).

Here is how it works: The book designers have embedded cues (a graphic or a code) into the graphics and the software on your cell phone reacts to those. In this example, the child’s book shows several Chinese characters and if you point your cell’s camera to the page, a small 3D cartoon panda comes to life on your mobile’s display and says the character in English and then in Mandarin. This way the child doesn’t need a computer to use a learning software but still has the advantages of modern media – animation, interaction, sound – when (and where) needed.

These kinds of „magic books“ will become available by the end of this year.

Learn more about the current commercial development in the SCIAM article here: Augmented Reality Makes Commercial Headway: Scientific American

Or have a look at my new AR YouTube Playlist with many different examples of applied Augmented Reality.

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.“

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 webcam 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)