Weekly Linkfest

Pizzas, Ghosts and Robots, all making augmented reality news this week:

Quote of the week comes from that WSJ article:

Madison Avenue has high hopes for the gimmick. “It’s the new bright and shiny object that marketers want,” says Tom Bedecarre, chief executive of AKQA, a San Francisco digital marketing firm that created the Postal Service campaign. AKQA is currently pitching several of its clients’ campaigns that include the technology.

Which means we should expect more bad novelty augmented reality ahead.

And to start off the coming week, here’s a nice clip showing projected pong game, made by two students from the IT University of Copenhagen. Here you can find out how they did it, and see some behind the scenes pictures.

Useful AR from the US Postal Service

The USPS has a very neat AR application, which is also surprisingly useful. Using FLARToolKit, you can now see if the stuff you intend to send fits in any of the flat-rate boxes. As the novelty augmented reality fad becomes old very quickly, I hope more companies will favor a more useful approach to AR.

usps_ar

Try it yourself here, via Living in Augmented Reality.

Future Lions Love AR


Future Lions is a yearly competition that allows student to show off innovative concepts in the world of advertisement. Winners are honored at the Cannes Festival but all participants get free exposure to leading agencies. This year’s concept was to “develop an idea for advertising a global brand in a way that would not have been possible five years ago”. Naturally, many students picked augmented reality. Here’s a quick scan of some of them (as surely more will surface in the coming days). You do have to remember that all videos featured below are just concepts, and no “real” augmented reality was involved. It does show how young advertisers (or at least some of them) are trying to go beyond Novelty-AR, and look for true ways to complement their campaigns via augmented reality (unlike say, the guys behind the Papa Johns campaign).


Geepseed – an augmented reality Tamaguchi for Greenpeace

It’s like int13’s Kweekies with an environmental saying behind it.

Try out IKEA furniture before you buy
When Meaio created their iLiving application, I was a bit skeptical, but somehow this next clip makes me see what a great idea this is after all, especially for a company like IKEA. If I were IKEA, investing in such technology would be the first item on my schedule. Update: There’s a live demo for you to play with, here.

Gatorade virtual coaches
I had a similar idea once, it looked better in my imagination :)

Yo!Sushi Augmented Menus
This falls in the novelty category. Why would anyone want to see sushi in 3d?

Augmented tee-shirts for United Colors of Benton
We’ve seen a similar (working) demo from Squidder, and it better suits Threadless anyway.

Disney’s Up characters come to life
What Topp’s augmented baseball cards should have been.

Facebook world
We all had that idea sometime, now Alex Hachey shows us how it would look (you should not use AR when crossing a road)


Honorable mentions:

Stop Using AR to Sell Cars – Part Two

Nissan has a new augmented reality campaign to promote their cars. It’s much better than their old campaign promoting only the Cube, but it’s still meh. But don’t you think that they didn’t consider my plead to stop using AR to sell cars (go there to see their former use of AR, as well as many other augmented car campaigns). They actually think that’s the right decision. Here, see for yourself:

stopusingar

No video this time, sorry. Via Twitter, on every other mention of augmented reality.

The Augmented Real Slim Shady

Let’s start with a little contest – whoever comes with a better play on words for a title will be named the king of AR puns.
Polydor Records, which is a British record label and part of Universal Music Group, has set up a competition to promote Eminem’s new record Relapse. Contestants are asked to spray a virtual graffiti on an augmented “E” letter (using a FLARToolKit application). Then you may upload your creation to a web-gallery for the whole world to see.

As for the prizes –

You could win the trip of a lifetime to visit Em’s home town of Detroit on an all expenses paid trip (flight and accommodation). Plus, once you’ve touched down you’ll be whisked off to attend a top secret official Eminem album launch event.

You see, you don’t even get to meet with Eminem himself (who, I guess, was never consulted about this marketing campaign). Currently, the gallery features only two entries, so you may actually “win” it. Go here to try out your luck.

More Augmented Advertisement

Our friend Diego Gopen has notified us that his augmented advertisements service, ARvertising.com, has a new demo, one that lets you play augmented dice online:

According to him it’s “100% random! good for stuff for casinos online ;) because it works with physics so it’s impossible to manage”.
But beware Diego! There are new competitors in the AR advertisements business! Brian Selzer found that ADmmersion.com has a very similar service. No videos yet, though if you register you can try their very basic FLARToolKit demo.

Combining several proven technologies, ADmmersion™ brings advertising to life like never before – giving consumers access to an interactive experience like none other.

For the first time, consumers aren’t just watching ads – they’re part of the experience and can interact with them directly.

Admmersion.com comes to us from DCSI, a company that according to its site, specializes in those LCD screens at grocery stores that show endless ads. It’s good to see they are trying to diversify their business.