2d Sketches Become 3d Reality

The guys at Hit Lab New Zealand and the Visual Media Lab at the Ben Gurion University, Israel, have uploaded a new video presenting the results of their ISMAR09 paper “In-Place 3D Sketching for Authoring and Augmenting Mechanical Systems”. Since the paper is not online yet, I can’t really tell how much of it is really automatic, and how robust is it, but the video is nothing less than magical:

I really envy those future physics high-school students…

Yummy Cereal by Dassault Systemes

Yes, the following video is nothing more than a demo for Dassault Systemes AR campaign for the feature film “Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard“. I usually don’t give such videos a full post, especially when there’s no site I can link to, but it seems like a cute game, and what happens at 1:25 surprised me.

Maybe I’m too jaded with AR campaigns that such a trick surprised me, but it made me smile, and that’s good enough.
(via @lavalvirtual)

ACME – Augmented Collaboration in Mixed Environments

I couldn’t decide whether I should dedicate a whole post or just a tweet to the next project. On the one hand, I don’t know much about it, and its homepage is in Finnish. On the other hand, the video is in English, and shows a concept that can become a huge buisness – augmented telepresence:

In a nutshell telepresence is a turbo-charged version of video-conference, that aspire to give you the feeling that you are really in the remote location. There are some companies around the world that invest loads of money in developing better and better telepresence experiences, because they believe it’s going to be a billion-dollar market. Now, is there a better experience than seeing your remote pal in 3d across the table?

Obviously, ACME, the project featured in the above video, doesn’t come close to making this idea a reality. But it does let you see you companion’s avatar, which mimics his gestures, and share with him a virtual desktop.

Et tu Citroen DS3?

(Before you comment, “Et tu” has the same meaning in French as it has in Latin).
The Citroën DS3 joins the ranks of cars that get an augmented reality campaign, thanks to Total Immersion.

Yes, it’s not as lame as other cars AR campaigns, with its little racing game. However, it won’t be spared from becoming the latest addition to my growing petition to stop using AR to promote cars.

Happy Rosh HaShana

For our Hebrew readers (the three of you):

It’s the Jewish new year, and Israeli web design firm Netcraft produced this new year greeting. You can try it yourself here. (thanks Alon!)

Happy Rosh HaShana, Ori!

More Augmented Business Cards

A couple of months ago, the ARSphere was gushing over James Alliban’s augmented business card (the one with the pixelated talking 3d face).

That nice little creative work led Alliban to recently launch Augmatic, a company that provides augmented reality services, and yes, among them is a personalized augmented business card.

Of course, Alliban is not the only one in the augmented business-cards-business. We have previously featured Toxin Labs. This week sees another implementation, by one Burton Posey, which can only be described as cute (of course, you can choose a more menacing avatar):

Says Posey:

This is an idea I’d been kicking around in my head since February. I wanted to find a way that a company could deliver a catchy identity for themselves. Avatars, be it the Mii’s on the Nintendo Wii, or an Xbox Live Avatar, have become extensions of the people who use them.

You can try his implementation over here. I wonder if any of the guys at ISMAR 09 is going to have augmented business cards.

Augmented Reality? I’m Loving It

Or used to, I’m currently in the trough of disillusionment. But never mind that, here’s how McDonald’s Italy chose to promote their new hamburger. Giving new meaning to Bruce Sterling claim that current AR is a bit cheesy.

Try it here.
Previously – Find Nearest McDonald’s via AR and Augmented Burger King.

Whatchoo Augmentin’ ’bout, Willis?


Obviously the end of the world came, and no one told me. The signs are all here:
1. Canadian based New York Fries is celebrating 25 years of selling, well, fries.
2. To commemorate the occasion, they looked for an eighties icon.
3. They chose Gary Coleman.
4. And made an augmented reality application, on Facebook, were you shake Gary Coleman by shaking a marker, making him drop his fries, and tell you your fortune.

You can try it yourself, here, and find more details at AdFreak, while I’m looking for the nearest nuclear shelter*.

* Yeah, I’m mean, no point commenting about it. I don’t have anything against Mr. Coleman, my sarcasm is targeted solely at the novelty AR application.

Behind the Scenes of Best Buy’s AR Campaign

Yesterday I mentioned Best Buy’s AR campaign in the weekly linkfest. The campaign itself is not that exciting, just your typical marker based advertisement. Here’s the obligatory video of some guys on Youtube playing around with it:

However, this time around we get to peek behind the scenes of the campaign thanks to Advertising Age, which held an interview with Spencer Knisely, director-brand identity, print and design at Best Buy. It turns out that while the print ad pushing the site had a circulation of about 43 million people, only 6500 of them have tried the AR application on its first day. Surprisingly, that’s double the number Best Buy have predicted.

Ad Age: Can you tell what the real business result — or conversion — of this was?

Mr. Knisely: We don’t know that yet. We saw comparatively high click-through — 12% — to other pages: the Twelpforce page, the Next Class computing page or to the dot-com site for the Toshiba computer itself. But aggregated, a 12% click-through on an experience like that is fairly decent.

More here.

Augmented DJ by Wrigley

The good guys from UK based creative agency Exposure and the Australian AR wizards from Boffswana show us that using augmented reality in a campaign, doesn’t necessarily means having a “look at the novelty” brain dead application (unlike, say, the Always one).
For the coming launch of Wrigley’s 5 brand of gums in France, they have created an application that lets users mix together club-music via AR markers. There are three markers representing gum flavors, each linked to a certain track, and one master marker to rule them all. The markers’ distance from the master marker and their relative angles determine the volume and effects for each track.

Once you have become experienced in the ways of the augmented DJ, you can record your own mix, upload it to the site’s gallery, and even embed it in your blog. Now, since I’m tone-deaf, and my laptop is not strong enough to register four markers at once, I’m going to embed a creation by some other guy (sorry Games Alfresco and RSS readers, no embedding for you):

Now, I’m well aware that the idea of an augmented reality DJ set is not a new one. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago we’ve learned about the ARDJ art project. And this application is not perfect, as it requires a good computer and setting to work, and the embedding issue could be solved if videos were hosted on Youtube. Nevertheless, we should recommend Exposure and Boffswana for not going with the easy solution, and creating a very interactive experience (only Living Sasquatch is in this league, also done by Boffswana). Now, lets see more campaigns of this kind instead of the other “novelty” kind.