Augmented Reality in 2010: A Look Indoors (Part 9)

I was delighted to see that Patched Reality’s Patrick O’Shaughnessey answered my call and shared his augmented reality related predictions for 2010 in his company blog. It’s Patrick’s first prediction that I find most interesting (though all of them are very good). While many of our prior columns in this series had predictions about how AR will change the way we see the outside world, Patrick reminds us there’s use for indoors AR:

While AR browsers like Layar and Wikitude will continue to focus their attention on discovering information that is in the world at large, another class of AR applications will emerge that helps people see what could be in the comfort of their own home. We’ll see a lot more applications released by manufacturers that sell products that go in people’s homes. These applications will be more sophisticated than the recent IKEA campaign in Germany, as they will make use of the actual smartphone video stream to make sense of the user’s environment, and also allow people to purchase the products they’ve previewed right within the app.
Products that people will be able to “try before they buy” will run the gamut from furniture, artwork, electronics, window treatments, clothing, and maybe even paint colors. This type of application will be to 2010 what the “hold a marker up to your webcam to see a marketing message” was in 2009. And there will likely be both good and bad executions of the basic concept.

We actually saw the early seeds of indoors AR in 2009 with such offerings as virtual electronics, virtual eyewear, virtual shoes, virtual jewlery, virtual furniture and many more, all can be tried on in the comfort of your own home. Coincidentally, I’ve recently spotted this demo from 4th Wall Technologies that shows “augmented renovoation”. Though the technology is not very exciting, the use of a tablet pc really seems to fit this purpose:

Ironically, accurate registration and image recognition may not be the main issue preventing AR from coming indoors. After a conversation with a friend it became apparent to me, that scanning items in order to create a 3d representation is a real roadblock for retailers on the route to selling via AR,

Joins us tomorrow for the final installation in our series, when Ori Inbar shares his predictions for 2010. Don’t forget to take part in our predictions-poll if you haven’t done so yet.
Previously:
AR in 2010 Part 1 – What’s your opinion? – Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 – Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 – Thomas Wrobel’s predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 – Augmented Planet’s Lester Madden’s predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 – The Future Digital Life’s Thomas Carpenter’s predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 – Noah Zerkin’s predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 7 – Gene Becker’s predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 8 – Augmented.org’s Toby Kammann’s predictions.

5 Responses

  1. ” that scanning items in order to create a 3d representation is a real roadblock for retailers on the route to selling via AR,”

    Not so sure about that…havnt we seen fairly recently 3d-reconstruction merely from slow moving a camera around an object?
    Cant quite find the link now, but there’s definitely impressive auto-modelling from footage now.


    Anyway, yes, indoor uses. (and relative-uses in general) are a bit overlooked.
    Oh, and standard markers please!

  2. while the technology for 3d scanning exists, it’s not quite accessible for retailers. I just don’t see IKEA slowly moving a camera around each of its products, and even more so for smaller retailers.

  3. I dont see why not.
    This demonstration I saw had no fancy rig, it was practically just a guy moving a webcam around an object by hand. (was a paper model of a church I think..darn I really wish I could find the link).

    If retailers cant be bothered/afford to do something like that its doughtfull they have the investment or the motivation to do any practical AR catalogue anyway.

  4. Yep, I saw that demo as well.
    I’ll believe in its commercial value once I see a four legged chair scanned.

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