Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

This tradition cannot be stopped, here’s another weekly linkfest:

This week’s video comes from Robert Scoble’s tour in SRI International, showing a handbag buying application, using Kinect to make it seem like a real handbag is actually dangling from the lady’s arm. See more videos, including one aboud head mounted display based AR gaming, in this post, titled “A Look At How SRI Is Augmenting The Human Condition“:

Have a great week!

5 Things I Want Kinect To Do

The Kinect has become an indie revolution, open sourced and hacked to provide a wealth of effects we haven’t had access to for augmented reality.  The Kinect Hacks site is doing a terrific job covering the revolution, but I want to make my bid for what I want the Kinect to do outside its comfort zone.

The Kinect so far has been wedded to the TV, mostly because it’s a gaming device.  But the company behind the technology, PrimeSense, recently raised $50 million.  We can only suspect they’re going to turn their hot new commodity into a device that can work with more than just the PC or an Xbox.

When that product hits the market, understanding the world will be much easier for computers and therefore, will make augmented reality more advanced.  Now I know most of these ideas aren’t AR in the strictest terms (I know my friend Rouli wouldn’t deem them AR,) but they exist in the same spectrum and they’re important for the overall development of the technology.  Without better sensors, AR is doomed to stay stuck in the smartphone.  Plus, sensing the world is one-half the AR equation (see the RIM scale for more details.)

Here are five things I want the Kinect to do:

1) I want the Kinect to drive my car, at least on the highway, while I’m busy doing something else.  Google wants to do the same thing and I think the Kinect could help them.
2) Conveyance in a factory setting takes a lot of manpower and is woefully wasteful.  Utilizing cheap sensors that can see people and sense their environment would make getting widgets from one place to another easy.
3) Mapping indoor locations would allow building AR environments in your local Walmart so mapping out your shopping route can be done with a simple app.
4) Telepresence robot, 3D glasses, and a computer screen could give people with massive physical disabilities a way to explore the world around them.
5) Sensing system for the blind that could give them clues to what was happening around them.  The system could use facial recognition and whisper what it saw in your ear.

These are just a few possibilities with the Kinect sensor as it gives computers a window into our world.

Snowy Weekly Linkfest

Back. It seems that I escaped London on the very last minute before the airports closed down. Here’s a rundown of augmented reality links for the last couple of weeks:

  • PrimeSense, Willow Garage, and Side-Kick Games join hands to create to OpenNI an organization whose goal is to promote natural interaction. First step was releasing ‘official’ drivers for Kinect.
  • DanKam, an AR application for the color blind, is simple and brilliant in the same time, and at least according to my twitter feed, it actually works.
  • Here we go again. The Augmented Reality Summit to be held in London on June 16th is the first of 2011 crop of commercial AR events.
  • Metaio have some cool augmented magic tricks to celebrate Christmas.
  • Follow this link to see a video of bad acting and terrible music. Oh, and some clever eye tracking based augmented reality UI from Helsinki university of technology.
  • A nice piece on Neatorama, which went QR crazy lately, on surprising mediums for QR codes, including a sand castle and a M&Ms.

The biggest news these days is Word Lens. I’m sure you have all seen it already, and I plan to write full post on it next week, but for the oft chance you haven’t yet encountered it – it’s augmented reality based translation app for the iPhone. Or in other words, magic:

Have a great week, winter/summer solstice and merry Christmas!

Must See at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show

CES starts tomorrow.

It always delivers a gadget-splashy kick-off for the year. If you are there in person, or following virtually (like I do) – you will want to check out these events:


Sad to say, it’s not the next AR goggles…it’s  for shooting underwater HD video

But there’s more.

TN Games

Wear this helmet from TN Games and when they shoot you (in a game) – you’ll  feel the wonderful sensation of actually getting hit in the head. Now, try it on a street while playing an augmented reality style laser tag. You may feel cool – but you’ll still look dorky.

To complete the awkward look, don’t miss the matching game vest and you’ll feel the shots and blasts on your torso.


Prime Sense, an exhibitor in CES 2009, makes “video games more immersive and fun to play by allowing users to play naturally using body movements and gestures”.

Though unique in its technology, Prime Sense is not the only company that offers body game play. A handful of companies compete on that niche – somewhere between the Wii and augmented reality games.

Lunch@Piero’s – with Total Immersion

Total Immersion is sure to deliver a great augmented reality tour de force this CES. They are the best at demonstrating AR today. This year, though, they left the keynote stage and went for lunch at Piero’s. January 8-9, 2009 — 11:30 am to 2:00 pm press demonstration only.

Kids at play conference

I have argued before we first need to get the next generation hooked on AR. The conference within conference, Kids@Play, will provide some of the ingredients needed to do it right.

What will you look for at CES 2009?