Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

ARE2011 is only two days away, and I’m going to miss it (this time its my fault, and I can’t blame Delta Airways). I’m a lame excuse for an AR blogger, I know. If you go there, please shoot some videos and share!

Here are a few AR news stories to make the wait seem shorter (btw – have a link to share? contact me on Twitter @augmented):

Our weekly video comes today from the Future Lions 2011 contest, where young advertising professionals are called to “Advertise a product from a global brand in a way that couldn’t have been done five years ago, to an audience of your choosing”. Tom Houser and Victoria Trow came up a way to use augmented reality as an alternative source of income for record companies. I am a bit of a skeptic, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless:

Have a great week!

Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

Took a break last week (missed me? you should follow me on Twitter), back today with many AR links:

This week’s video is just cute rendition of a possible augmented future, featuring Super Mario Bros villains in real life (via Neatorama):

Have a splendid week!

ARTags – The Sign of Apps to Come

I hate it when I’m scheduling a post just to find out that someone else (this time Augmented Planet) publish a post about it just a day before my goes up. Luckily ARTags is important enough to deserve two posts within 24 hours.

Coming to us from France, ARTags is an AR drawing application, that apparently makes it very easy to draw nice looking pictures on your mobile phone and add them to your current location. Though it’s quite new, already more than 1500 pictures were drawn using this app all across the world.

But that doesn’t make it special. What makes ARTags special is the fact that it’s a cross platform app. That is, the pictures are visible using Wikitude, Layar and Junaio (though I had a bit of a problem finding the right channel on Wikitude). Instead of creating a new browser application, or integrating within only one of the above three, the folks behind ARTags decided to have a presence in all of them. That’s absolutely the right decision, at least at this stage. I certainly hope that other app developers will follow.

Now, if only someone invented an app to make its user better artists.

More information here.

Weekly Linkfest

First, and foremost, I owe an apology to Total Immersion which I criticized for having an invitation only event (AR-Immersion). They have kindly reminded me that their event is free of charge, unlike other similar events. Anyway, you can ask for an invitation here.

Now that this is behind us, here are other things that happened in the AR-sphere:

This week’s video proves that augmented reality can be annoying at times, like a virtual fly you can shake off. Created by Michele Cirulli, this was apparently a video installation at the Live Performers Meeting this year.

Have an excellent week!

Weekly Linkfest – The Justin Bieber Edition

This linkfest has nothing to do with Justin Bieber, and everything to do with augmented reality news bites from the last week. I’m just checking if the mere inclusion of Mr. Bieber in the title will generate more hits.

This week’s video is a promotion video for Sekai Camera. Tonchidot, the company behind this veteran AR browser recently got a $5M from Japan’s telecom giant KDDI (though some claim that KDDI actually bought Tonchidot). And if that’s not enough, Tonchidot announced the creation of social AR game. The future looks bright for those guys:

Have a great (and cool) week!

Weekly Linkfest

I’m back! (but not for long, following the augmented reality event I’ll be mostly offline for three weeks). Speaking of augmented reality events, this week’s linkfest is full of talks from other events that took place recently:

This week’s video demonstrates cooking with AR, a video showcasing some of Yoo Kyoung Noh’s concepts presented in her Object 2.0 project – a concept proposal for the system of the near future, where the Internet is integrated into physical objects and spaces. Via Beyond The Beyond:

Have a great week!

10 Cool Things Going On Right Now in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has come a long way in a years time.  Last year I got excited by research projects and gimmicky AR webcam advertising, but that quickly faded on the tenth plus iteration.  It wasn’t until July that we starting having real AR products in the form of apps.  Nearly a year later and still early in the development of the AR ecosystem, we’re seeing a more diverse use of the technology and that has me excited again.  So I want to take a moment to go over ten cool things going on right now in augmented reality.

1. Battle of the AR Browsers

Wikitude, Layar, Tonchidot, Junaio, TagWhat and others hope to be the standard for the AR browser market.  Layar has recently upped the ante with an AR content store and TagWhat takes it in a new direction by combining lessons learned with Foursquare and Twitter.  I suspect one of the big boys like Google, Twitter or Facebook will eventually either create their own or co-opt the ideas from these early browsers into their current products.  I’m not sure which horse to bet on in this race, but in the end we customers are the winners.

2. DIY Portable Augmented Reality Headset

Using an Eye-Trek video headset, the guy at Tailormadetoys made a pair of AR glasses.  I love the DIY culture and while they’re not see-through, I think all the right parts to make one are out there.  This post from Team Hack-a-Day proves that the DIY makers are getting close, so why can’t one of the big makers get it done?

3. The AR phone – Ouidoo

The specs on this Ouidoo QderoPateo smartphone are in the WTF!? zone.  While the phone won’t be out until the fall, the company claims it’ll have a 26-core CPU capable of 8-gigaflop floating point operations and include  512MB RAM, 4GB ROM, 28GB of built-in storage, microSD expansion, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, built-in 3D map, accelerometer, digital compass, 5-megapixel camera with flash, 220 hours of standby battery life, and a sharp 3.5-inch 800 x 480 screen.  Whew.

While I’m not completely believing the hype, and it could end up being vaporware, it certainly looks promising.  Though it’ll have to work hard to compete with the likes of the iPhone and Droid.

4. Eyeborg

Bionic eyes and augmented reality.  It’s like peanut better and chocolate!  Rob Spence is putting a camera into his eye to make movies with (and because its just plain cool.)  And he’s also interested in combining augmented reality with his eye camera.  They’ve come up with a promotional AR eyeborg t-shirt in the meantime.

Eyeborg’s New AR shirt in action!

5. ARE2010

Bruce Sterling, Will Wright, Marco Tempest, and the list goes on.  It pains me to say that I won’t be able to make the inaugural event.  I had a work conflict with that week, so I have to bow out of hosting the panel on AR glasses.  But for the rest of you, I hope you’ll be able to make it.  With AR on the rise and viable business options a-plenty, it’s a good time to network and see what everyone is doing with the nascent technology.  This is the “can’t miss” AR event of the year.

6. ARWave

Our favorite interviewer Tish Shute and longtime commenter Thomas Wrobel have been sheparding the AR Wave project and collaborating with people all over the globe.  While it’s still too early to tell, this could end up being one of the most important AR developments out there if they can truly create an open source way of using AR.  As they’ve been telling everyone, they’re trying to make a system that:

* Anyone can make content

* Anyone can make a browser

* Anyone can run a server

7. iPhone OS4.0

It almost pains me to get excited about an iPhone update that promises video access to make real AR work on that smartphone.  We got fooled last September with the OS3.1.  I’m hoping we don’t get fooled again (unless you’re the Who.)

8. Haptic AR floors

I’m not even entirely sure if haptic floors fit into the augmented reality spectrum, but it’s so crazy weird and true, that I had to include it.  I seriously doubt we’ll be seeing a commercial product anytime soon though (or ever.)

9. AR Drone

While the news on the AR drone is a stale few months old, I still think it warrants inclusion because it was a great product.  The hovercraft alone was worth the price of admission, but the AR added a creative twist to it.  I have no idea if it sold well, but it sure did capture the imaginations of a lot of geeks.

10. You choose!

Let us know what you think is the coolest thing going in augmented reality right now.  Whether it’s a product only hinted at or one currently residing on your smartphone, we’d like to hear it.  So let us know here at Games Alfresco in the comment section!