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)

Hyper(reality) – Who Needs Eyes When Kinect is Around

Imagine for a moment how would it be like to replace your sense of vision with the point cloud generated by Kinect, which in turn is controlled by your arduino glove. Thanks to designer Maxence Parache you don’t need to imagine such a scenario anymore

Hyper(reality) – The Last Tuesday Society from Maxence on Vimeo.

I’m not sure if this project can be catalogued as augmented reality, and if so, it is surely on the fringes of AR (since it seems to me to increase the latency between atoms and bits). Is the term alternative reality taken yet?

via Yanko Design (where you can see some more videos)

Why Sports Enthusiasts are the Future of AR

There are a few topics that I’ve been planning to write about for months (if not years). One of them is the role sports enthusiasts (joggers, swimmers, bicycles fanatics) may have in the adoption of augmented reality head up displays. The recent onslaught of hi-tech ski goggles was the push I needed to finally do something about it.

Instead of writing a long post (which many won’t read), I’m trying something new here. I’ve created a short presentation with only a few words that describes my views. I would be very happy to hear your comments on this format. If you like it, I’ll create more presentations on other subjects.

What do you think? Am I completely off my mark here?

Olympus’s AR Walker – Good Reason to Move to Japan

I’m a firm believer that the first commercially available head up devices will be sold to joggers and bicyclists.

Imagine going on an augmented run, where instead of just listening to music or podcast, you do that, and play a computer game for the extra motivation. Every now and then you’ll have to pick a virtual coin, or avoid some virtual danger. Think of Sonic the Hedgehog, where you are Sonic. Or you may run against a virtual competitor, which may very well be non other than yourself, as recorded on a previous run. At the very least you’ll be able to constantly see you heart rate and the number of miles you’ve already completed.

Now meet AR Walker from Olympus. It’s a simple HUD (and not available commercially), but it’s a good start. Once AR takes hold among amateur sportsmen, it will have a real chance in entering our daily lives.

CrunchGear has some more details about it.

Nothing Like the Smell of a Freshly Augmented Cookie

SIGGRAPH, the world’s most important conference on computer graphics and a pixel-fetishist wonderland is being held this week in Los Angeles, featuring several interesting papers on augmented reality. One of them explores the augmentation of cookies.

Yes, we have all seen cookies marked with augmented reality markers. Games Alfresco has mentioned such cookies back in 2008. So how come such a paper got accepted into SIGGRAPH? Well, the simple answer is that you’ve haven’t seen (or rather tasted) such cookies before.

Created by researchers at the University of Tokyo, Meta Cookie combines together a head up visual display and head up olfactory display to trick your senses. I’m not quite sure what was the goal of that research, but were successful in changing how the cookie tasted. Probably some smart marketer will find a way to sell it as a weight loss device. You just need a way to print a marker on broccoli to make it tastes (and look like) ice cream (with a crunchy texture).

Meta Cookie. Narumi, Kajinami, Tanikawa, Hirose. SIGGRAPH 2010.
image via BusinessWire

Augmented Reality Farmville

Addicted to Farmville? Have a green thumb but no garden? Envy real farmers but got allergies?
The guys from TU Munich have the perfect solution for you:

Augmented Farmville could be one heck of a layer for Layar/Junaio/Wikitude once better positioning is available. Think of the gold rush to get a virtual plot in major cities, imagine Times Square as a flower bed! Using real meteorological data to those virtual farms would add another interesting and educational twist. It may be the most stupid idea I have ever featured in this blog, but then again, nobody would guess that a farm simulator will be one of the most successful games in 2010.

Old McDonald Had an Augmented Farm

AgroTech, a Danish institute that provides consultancy and technological services for the agricultural industry, has created a rather interesting conceptual video, showing AR in an unconventional niche. The video below shows a farmer running a farm (milking cows, moving manor) aided by a pair of AR glasses. Though the text bubble are in Danish, you’ll probably understand the jist of things

You’re probably wondering what’s the last bubble says. It’s “Remember wedding anniversary tomorrow”. So there you have it, a single system that reminds you when to milk your cow and when to buy a gift to your wife. Perfect!

More information over here.