iPhone 3GS vs iPhone 4 For Augmented Reality

Aside from the antenna problems, its nice to see incremental improvements on magic lens augmented reality.

First Image Processing iPhone AR App in AppStore

Now I can’t guarantee that it’s the first, but it’s a start.  The Faces app comes from Pixelshed and is available in the AppStore right now.

Make fun of your friends by putting new faces on their heads and share these images via email and Facebook.

Point your iPhone towards your friend’s face and a magical overlays will appear on the screen. Change the overlay by swiping left and right on the screen.

Faces is the very first app that takes advantage of cutting edge Augmented Reality (AR) technology on your iPhone.

Gigaputt – Augmented Reality Golf

Make the world your golf course.

That’s the tagline of the new iPhone app Gigaputt from Gigantic Mechanic.  Instead of clubs, you swing your iPhone in a Wii-like manner (though the accuracy is no where near the same) and hit your ball.  Unlike most AR iPhone games, this one actually requires you to interact with your surroundings rather than just spin in place and hit random buttons.  I’m sure there’s some way to include drinks and bar hopping into the game for the adult readers of GA.

The game is also being featured in the Come Out and Play Festival 2010 in New York on June 14th.

10 Cool Things Going On Right Now in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has come a long way in a years time.  Last year I got excited by research projects and gimmicky AR webcam advertising, but that quickly faded on the tenth plus iteration.  It wasn’t until July that we starting having real AR products in the form of apps.  Nearly a year later and still early in the development of the AR ecosystem, we’re seeing a more diverse use of the technology and that has me excited again.  So I want to take a moment to go over ten cool things going on right now in augmented reality.

1. Battle of the AR Browsers

Wikitude, Layar, Tonchidot, Junaio, TagWhat and others hope to be the standard for the AR browser market.  Layar has recently upped the ante with an AR content store and TagWhat takes it in a new direction by combining lessons learned with Foursquare and Twitter.  I suspect one of the big boys like Google, Twitter or Facebook will eventually either create their own or co-opt the ideas from these early browsers into their current products.  I’m not sure which horse to bet on in this race, but in the end we customers are the winners.

2. DIY Portable Augmented Reality Headset

Using an Eye-Trek video headset, the guy at Tailormadetoys made a pair of AR glasses.  I love the DIY culture and while they’re not see-through, I think all the right parts to make one are out there.  This post from Team Hack-a-Day proves that the DIY makers are getting close, so why can’t one of the big makers get it done?

3. The AR phone – Ouidoo

The specs on this Ouidoo QderoPateo smartphone are in the WTF!? zone.  While the phone won’t be out until the fall, the company claims it’ll have a 26-core CPU capable of 8-gigaflop floating point operations and include  512MB RAM, 4GB ROM, 28GB of built-in storage, microSD expansion, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, built-in 3D map, accelerometer, digital compass, 5-megapixel camera with flash, 220 hours of standby battery life, and a sharp 3.5-inch 800 x 480 screen.  Whew.

While I’m not completely believing the hype, and it could end up being vaporware, it certainly looks promising.  Though it’ll have to work hard to compete with the likes of the iPhone and Droid.

4. Eyeborg

Bionic eyes and augmented reality.  It’s like peanut better and chocolate!  Rob Spence is putting a camera into his eye to make movies with (and because its just plain cool.)  And he’s also interested in combining augmented reality with his eye camera.  They’ve come up with a promotional AR eyeborg t-shirt in the meantime.

Eyeborg’s New AR shirt in action!

5. ARE2010

Bruce Sterling, Will Wright, Marco Tempest, and the list goes on.  It pains me to say that I won’t be able to make the inaugural event.  I had a work conflict with that week, so I have to bow out of hosting the panel on AR glasses.  But for the rest of you, I hope you’ll be able to make it.  With AR on the rise and viable business options a-plenty, it’s a good time to network and see what everyone is doing with the nascent technology.  This is the “can’t miss” AR event of the year.

6. ARWave

Our favorite interviewer Tish Shute and longtime commenter Thomas Wrobel have been sheparding the AR Wave project and collaborating with people all over the globe.  While it’s still too early to tell, this could end up being one of the most important AR developments out there if they can truly create an open source way of using AR.  As they’ve been telling everyone, they’re trying to make a system that:

* Anyone can make content

* Anyone can make a browser

* Anyone can run a server

7. iPhone OS4.0

It almost pains me to get excited about an iPhone update that promises video access to make real AR work on that smartphone.  We got fooled last September with the OS3.1.  I’m hoping we don’t get fooled again (unless you’re the Who.)

8. Haptic AR floors

I’m not even entirely sure if haptic floors fit into the augmented reality spectrum, but it’s so crazy weird and true, that I had to include it.  I seriously doubt we’ll be seeing a commercial product anytime soon though (or ever.)

9. AR Drone

While the news on the AR drone is a stale few months old, I still think it warrants inclusion because it was a great product.  The hovercraft alone was worth the price of admission, but the AR added a creative twist to it.  I have no idea if it sold well, but it sure did capture the imaginations of a lot of geeks.

10. You choose!

Let us know what you think is the coolest thing going in augmented reality right now.  Whether it’s a product only hinted at or one currently residing on your smartphone, we’d like to hear it.  So let us know here at Games Alfresco in the comment section!

HoloToy Hologram for iPhone and iPad

Augmented reality is all about illusion.  Most applications project graphics on the real world.  But this HoloToy creates the illusion of a real space within iPhone or iPad, similar to the LevelHead game from last year.  The game has a number of modes including a Scarab Attack game, floating planets and a pet robot to interact with.  Most of them can be seen in this video.

iPhone OS4 to have Video Stream Access

Though I’m not completely believing it until the OS4 actually comes out and the video access is really in there, but the announcement from Steve Jobs today on the OS4 details included that tasty little gem.

The developer preview is available right now and the release of OS4 will happen sometime “this summer.”

Hopefully this happens, unlike the OS3.1 promises that turned into vapor by release date.  I’m crossing my fingers.

Augmented Driving on your iPhone

For you experienced developers, the first question you’ll be asking is, “how are they going to do a car HUD without video access on the iPhone.”  So I’ll answer that question first.

Currently, video recording is not yet supported. However, the system takes snapshots of the screen at different intervals. The standard interval is set to about 10 seconds. If one vehicle is tracked this interval is reduced to 5 seconds. If a vehicle is close ahead or more than one vehicle is tracked, a snapshot is taken every 2 seconds.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk features on this new product from imaGinyze (though technically, its only submitted to the App Store and not yet out for purchase.)

The app does a pretty good job of tracking the lane you’re in, speeds, and distance to other cars.   And it switches between units easily for which ever side of the pond you’re on.  The app provides additional safety features giving you a lane switch warning, though if it switches between the 10 second frame interval then its not going to work so well.  Yet another reason Apple needs to give up the goods on the video access.

The functionality of the app shows what the GM windshield might do to improve the safety of its vehicles.  Though I really wish it would give that “Vehicle Ahead” warning to the a-hole tailgating me on the open highway and not to me.

More information:

Augmented Driving for your iPhone 3GS including the following features:

– Dynamic augmented reality overlays for lanes and vehicles
– Head-up display (HUD) for system and status information
– Lane detection and lane change warning
– Vehicle detection and low distance information
– System auto-calibration for easy setup
– Many configuration options and quick manual

The system is designed to work in good lighting conditions during daytime for visible lane markings on highways and country roads and for detection of regular cars. For operation, a fix mount is required.