How Augmented Reality is Changing the World Cup

Coming back from my vacation, I had to catch up with a lot of AR related news. One topic though was so prevalent that I had to write about it in my coming back post. Obviously, I’m talking about the world cup in soccer. No other sports event gained such an attention from the AR community, and here are the results (don’t worry the last few ones are quite good):

Zakumi in FLARToolkit
The good: It seems to be created by a single programmer. Cheers for the initiative.
The god-awful bad: The music. I rather hear vuvuzelas than this one hit wonder.

Kappa’s “We Are One”
The good: The music is better than the previous video.
The bad: It’s in Chinese, so it’s hard for me to tell, but I think you need to download an application to play with it. Hello? This is 2010s, not prehistoric 2009!
Where: http://2010.kappa.com.cn/

Sony Ericsson World Cup Game
The good: You get to be a world famous soccer player while hitting soccer balls with your head in this game created by Total Immersion’s partner CherryPicks.
The bad: World famous soccer players are not necessarily handsome.
Where: http://www.sonyericsson.com.hk/fifa-game/

The world cup in a shopping mall
The good: Nice game, showing there are still some innovative things to do with a marker on a piece of paper. Made by another partner of TI – InterAct 3d.
The bad: Couldn’t they have the same application accessible through a webcam?

Junaio’s virtual soccer field overlay
The good: A brave attempt by Metaio to show game statistics for fans in the stadium in an unconventional way.
The bad: You have to be in South Africa to see it, and no videos are available. I’m a bit skeptic.
More info: http://augmentedblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/kick-it-like-augmented-reality/ where you can read about another application assisting you to find a good joint to see the next soccer match.

Zugara’s AR game in a banner
The good: Really cool creative, you need to “head in” corner kicks in this AD for AT&T.
The bad: AT&T. And people looking at you from behind while you’re jerking your head around.
Where: http://www.espn.com

KickBall AR
The good: Much better than AR Boomerang, this is the only mobile application on this list.
The bad: Only available for Samsung’s Bada operating system and the fact that Tom already wrote about it.

If I’ve missed anything (surely there’s a Layar layer for the games, no?), please feel free to add a comment.
So how AR is changing the world cup? Well it’s not, but for my first post in nearly three weeks, I had to try a title inspired by the linkbait generator. Anyhow, the usual “Weekly Linkfest” will return next week and as usual be sure to follow me on Twitter.

mARtha stewARt

In December I predicted that Oprah will have an AR item on her show during 2010. My prediction is getting one step closer to becoming (augmented) reality today, as Martha Stewart has some sweepstake that involves FLARToolkit

You can try it yourself here, I didn’t bother going through the questionnaire to see exactly what it’s all about.

Augmented Makeup Gets a Little Bit Better

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a Korean magic mirror that lets you try on makeup. I thought the results were less than satisfactory:

Well, the Japanese have tamed the virtual makeup down. Created for cosmetic giant Shiseido by Fujitsu, the following application can be found in kiosks across Tokyo:

More details on Engadget

And, if you are not lucky enough to live in East Asia, Walmart and the British drugstore chain Boots are piloting the following kiosk by EZFace. Unfortunately, it works on a static image and doesn’t augmented live video feed, so it’s not really AR.

iButterfly – Augmented Coupons with Wings

I really fancy this next iPhone app. It’s called iButterfly and it transforms the habit of collecting coupons into a fun little game. Created by Japan’s Mobile Art Lab, the app tasks its users with catching virtual butterflies , each representing one or more coupons. You can even share
“butterflies” with your friends via Bluetooth.

Though the technology is not overwhelming (GPS based), the overall execution looks great, see for yourself:

Via MobileBehavior

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.

Virtual Makeup is not ready for Prime Time yet

Following video presents a cooperation between Korea’s drugstore Oliveyoung and Samsung (if Google Translate serves me right). Never mind it’s not applied in real time and requires user interaction, but does it increase your sales, making your customers look like clowns?

Well I guess it’s a step in the right direction, but probably the technology is not ready for prime time yet.

Augmented Reality – Now Comes in Banners

For their latest campaign, promoting Burger King’s one dollar menu, ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky chose to break the mold of former AR campaigns. First, there’s no mini-site, the whole experience is neatly contained within a single banner ad. Moreover, there’s no need to print a marker. You simply show this ad a one dollar bill and it shows you an item from BK’s one dollar menu. You flip the bill and it shows you another item. Finally, when you hide the bill from your web cam, your face is covered by a king’s mask.

Apparently it works with other bills and even white sheets of paper, so you can give it a try. The banner is featured over here.