The Augmented Reality Sword Fight

Well, the following video is obviously not a show of augmented reality by any definition. The virtual entities are well orchestrated, and do not interact in real time with the actor. They are also projected on a screen behind the actor, so he can’t really see them.

However, this video is still amazing, and more than a million views on Youtube are evidence for that. It also serves as a reminder for one possible future for augmented reality, where fun packed, fast paced games are not bounded to a LCD screen. The Kinect was a big step forward, AR may be the giant leap ahead.

(via Geekologie)

Super Augmented Mario Bros

Mario, probably the best known (fictional) plumber has already appeared in more than 200 games. No surprise that fans imagine an augmented reality game starring him. For example, here’s Youtube user Kain the heartbreaker‘s vision of a Mario game on iPhone 10:

I don’t usually consider projection on buildings augmented reality, but this video from Madrid has a fine twist. Instead of scaling a virtual construction site, Mario fights Donkey Kong on a real building:

Finally, here’s another video coming to us from Madrid, this time from Espada y Santa Cruz Studio. A bit more information can be found here (in Spanish).

Augmented Shadow: The best AR project you’ll see today

Beautiful work by programmer and designer Joon Y. Moon using a projector hidden inside a table. Words can hardly do it justice, so just watch the video:

Apparently Augmented Shadow stems from Moon’s MFA thesis in Design & Technology for Parsons. He writes:

In this installation, the shadows exist both in a real and a virtual environment simultaneously. It thus brings augmented reality to the tabletop by way of a tangible interface. The shadow is an interface metaphor connecting the virtual world and users. Second, the unexpected user experience results from manipulating the usersā€™ visual perceptions, expectations, and imagination to inspire re-perception and new understanding. Therefore, users can play with the shadows lying on the boundary between the real, virtual, and fantasy.

More details on the project’s home page.

Weekly Linkfest

I hate August. It’s too darn hot over here. Luckily there a few cool and refreshing augmented reality stories this week:

This week’s video is of a year old, yet cool project by Karolina Sobecka with software development by Jim George. Sniff is a projected virtual dog that interacts with people passing it on the street. You can find lots more detail over Sobecka’s site (where you can watch other fun projector based projects, like Chase). [via Augmentology]

Have a good week!

Augmented Reality for Autism

I have very little experience with people on the Autistic spectrum, but designer Timothy Byrne of Western Washington University has a brother with an autistic disorder, a fact the propelled him to invent “Sixthsense for Autism”. Building upon MIT’s Pranav Mistry’s SixthSense technology, this conceptual project tries to provide its user social cues for everyday situations. Here’s for example standing in line while using the device:

In the following video Byrne explains the motivations behind his design and show some other uses:

Visit the West Washington University’s channel on Youtube for more possible uses of Sixthsense, such as aiding those with impaired memory, in the classroom, for construction, and while driving or traveling.

[via Yanko Design]

Weekly Linkfest

It’s Sunday, and it’s time for another weekly linkfest:

  • Tish Shute has a short interview with Sims creator (though I’ll always remember him for Simcity) Will Wright. Highlights:
    • “our senses are set up to know how to filter out 99% of what is coming into them. That is why they work, and that is what is beneficial. I think that is why AR needs to focus on”
    • “definitely one of our strong interests is AR.”
  • And there’s a short video interview with Christine Perey.
  • Mydeco.com and Dassault Systems launched a new iPhone app to let you try out virtual furniture in your home (see my AR in 2010 – a look indoors post for similar applications).
  • Now that you have found the right furniture, you can look for the right partner, using AR, of course.
  • Gizmodo dug out a nostalgic “mobile” AR implementation.
  • Doritos Brazil has another AR campaign, but this time it features the largest marker ever.
  • Infiniti uses old AR tricks to sell its G model.

The weekly video is not exactly a demo of an augmented reality system, but it relates well to other projected interfaces we have featured previously. It’s made by Microvision, and it’s pretty cool (as long as you don’t have any furniture, rugs or ceiling lamps in your room) [via ecademy.com]:

Have a nice week!

ARGO – Learn Go with Augmented Reality

Go. A game with such simple rules, that is surprisingly hard to master. It’s the last bastion of humanity against the rising power of game playing artificial intelligence. And now, there’s a cool projected AR board that will help you hone your skills in the game.
Presented by a group of researchers from Japan and Finland, ARGO uses a projector to show game situations, concepts and problems on top of a regular Go board.

As shown in these modes, the advantage of our approach is to allow players to get information through the original interaction offered by the Go board and the stones. By superimposing information onto the board, players can concentrate on the match at hand or self-training without fragmenting their attention towards an instructional book and etc. This is important to make it possible for the players to allocate enough cognitive resources for recognizing the situations in the game. Using original game items as the basis preserves Ma and traditional look-and-feel, such as distance between players, touch of a wooden board and sound of stones.

I really like they used the stones to control the menus. Nice touch, and a cool project as a whole.

More information here.