AR YOU – Like Denno Coil in Real Life

For his graduation project for the HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts), Cor Baauw created a really compelling vision of the augmented future where virtual pets are common and one can change reality with few restrictions.
Obviously, we are not likely to see this vision come to life in the next ten years (and possibly not in our lifetime), but it’s a nice reminder of how cool augmented reality can be once we overcome the limitations of the current hardware and algorithms.

More information can be found on Baauw’s site, Local Androids.

Osterhout’s Amazing HUD: Dreamware or Vaporware?

A few months ago Ralph Osterhout had a chance to present his vision for the future of HUDs at the e.g. conference. If you had to some his vision into one word it would be amazing. The list of features is endless, from night vision to high definition 3d display. Even more amazing, Osterhout claims that a militarized version of this HUD would be available this summer, and a consumer product will come “sooner than what you may think”.

Osterhout is far from a quack, but I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, if you consider yourself a fan of AR, you must watch the following talk (and share what you think about it in the comments!)

 (via @cdpatnoe)

Super Augmented Mario Bros

Mario, probably the best known (fictional) plumber has already appeared in more than 200 games. No surprise that fans imagine an augmented reality game starring him. For example, here’s Youtube user Kain the heartbreaker‘s vision of a Mario game on iPhone 10:

I don’t usually consider projection on buildings augmented reality, but this video from Madrid has a fine twist. Instead of scaling a virtual construction site, Mario fights Donkey Kong on a real building:

Finally, here’s another video coming to us from Madrid, this time from Espada y Santa Cruz Studio. A bit more information can be found here (in Spanish).

Help Albert Hwang Create Spatial Computing 3

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might remember Albert Hwang’s concept videos titled “Spatial Computing”, discussing futuristic augmented user interfaces. I was fairly impressed with them, that’s for sure.
Turns out Hwang worked on each one for six months, which might explain why he never got to producing a third installment in this series. Now, however, he’s ready for the commitment, and wants our help. Hwang is raising money on kickstarter.com to create “Spatial Computing III: The Home Theater System”. He’s looking for $1600, and though $1064 were already pledged, he has only 11 days to get the rest.

[Games Alfresco readers – please follow this link to see the video]
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433902187/spatial-computing-iii-the-home-theater-system/widget/video.html

Augmented City: The Creator of Domestic Robocop Blows Your Mind Again

I know some of you already seen the following clip on other blogs, but when I contacted Keiichi Matsuda two weeks ago, he asked me to wait till the final version is ready. Luckily, the wait was shorter than expected.

Keiichi Matsuda, the creator of the now famous dystopian short clip Domestic Robocop, is at it again. In “Augmented City”, a project that got him nominated for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Silver Medal award (and no, there’s no golden one), Matsuda pushes forward his belief that modern cities are more than concrete, metal and glass occupying a physical space but also the digital information that is produced and consumed by the city’s residents.

Or, in Matsuda’s own words:

Augmented City explores the social and spatial implications of an AR-supported future. ‘Users’ of the city can browse through channels of the augmented city, creating aggregated customised environments. Identity is constructed and broadcast, while local records and coupons litter the streets. The augmented city is an architectural construct modulated by the user, a liquid city of stratified layers that perceptually exists in the space between the self and the built environment. This subjective space allows us to re-evaluate current trends, and examine our future occupation of the augmented city.

AR coupons may be littering the streets in Matsuda’s vision, but it still looks amazing –

I crossed my eyes to see this clip, but if you go on and watch the clip on Youtube you’ll be able to pick a red-cyan version and use your favorite 3d glasses. Want to learn more? Check out Keiichi Matsuda’s thesis.

Logged In

I don’t much to say about the following video except that it’s named “Logged In” and I wish it was in English. On the other hand, it shows that AR can be an excellent tool for learning new languages. And I know it doesn’t meant to portray AR, but it sure looks like it:

[via Swiss Miss]

Augmenting TV

Recently two concept designs illustrating the use of augmented reality in order to enhance the plain old tv set, had come to my attention.
The first is a prototype from KDDI lab, presented at the NAB 2010 conference a couple of months ago. I couldn’t dig much information about it (here is some), though it seems to have the goal of personalizing advertisements in mind.

The other design is no where near reaching a prototype stage. Called the Meta-Mirror and imagined by Irish design studio Notion, it has less commercial agenda than the one by KDDI. It really strives to improve television. And with all the reality-tv shows out there, maybe augmented reality is the best way to do so. See more images of Meta-Mirror on Yanko Design.