If only I had a pair of plastic pink pumps for every time I've wondered what it would be like to sail through life as Barbie, she of the perpetually perfect skin and hair day and cute but crotch-challenged boyfriend.
Well, thanks to the "try almost anything out virtually" technology known as augmented reality, I can now step into Barbie's gold-beaded slip-ons.
The iconic and sometimes controversial doll/brand has employed Zugara's Webcam Social Shopper platform to let fans go inside Barbie's Dream Closet and see how they'd look in some of her most famous, mostly pink outfits. … Read more
Rather than fret about the rise of e-readers and tablets and the seemingly imminent demise of the book as we know it, book artist and poet Amaranth Borsuk decided to reimagine the digital-versus-paper struggle as a kind of dance, and make it the basis for an artist's book of her own.
Along with her husband, Web developer Brad Bouse, Borsuk created "Between Page and Screen." It's a digital pop-up book that contains nothing but elegantly rendered QR codes on its printed pages. Readers go to the book's Web site, hold a page in front of their Webcam, and watch onscreen as a poem pops out of the quick-response code (and moves along as the book is moved).… Read more
What do you do if you're an injured astronaut and your doctor absolutely refuses to make Mars calls?
Well, the European Space Agency is trying to address that question. The ESA is testing a wearable augmented-reality device that might one day enable astronauts who aren't doctors to perform surgery on ailing colleagues.
Astronauts haven't whipped out the scalpels just yet--the device is currently being tested as a tool for ultrasound examinations that let users look patients over and diagnose a medical condition. But the agency said in a recent post to its Web site that "in principle [it] could guide other procedures."
In a nutshell, the device--the Computer Assisted Medical Diagnosis and Surgery System, or Camdass--works as follows. While moving an ultrasound probe along the patient, the user wears a headset that displays a 3D image of healthy tissue along with the ultrasound images of the patient.
The device, according to the ESA, "precisely [combines] computer-generated graphics with the wearer's view." Hence, differences--and problems--can be spotted.… Read more
What will Web browsing look like in the future? Augmented reality, or AR, could be the next big leap.
Think of it as a more interactive Internet experience, taking in our physical environment and adding a layer of digital information. Companies like Aurasma are using the concept to develop a new way to browse.
SmartPlanet's Sumi Das explains how augmented reality will help museum paintings turn into talking art teachers and ordinary billboards play movie trailers.
This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet with the headline "The Future Of.... Browsing."
Related SmartPlanet links:The Future Of... Gift Cards … Read more
Despite lots of pleading and begging, I never got a laser tag set when I was growing up (Mom didn't think it was very ladylike). But now, it looks like I'm finally going to get my chance.
The Xappr Gun is a new gaming accessory that connects to a smartphone and allows you to play various augmented-reality and shooter games. The gun-shaped peripheral works with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices and features a mount in the viewfinder area where you can attach your smartphone, while an auxiliary cable connected to your handset's headphone jack registers your trigger pulls.
Though it's not due out until June, Xappr is already compatible with a number of existing games. These include AR Invaders, in which you help protect the planet by shooting down alien invaders, and Spray'Em, a mosquito-zapping game. … Read more
A new music video for a U.K.-based hip-hop artist showcases a fun idea: talking (and moving) graffiti.
The video, by British design outfit Paintshop Studio, features, in the words of Paintshop's blog, "animated graffiti rappers, created entirely in spray paint and brought to life by painting and repainting key elements."
Now, whether the idea of talking (and moving) graffiti is fun or horrifying depends on your point of view. Imagine if every tag you walked past in the city shouted the name of the tagger at you. (Then again, someone like street artist Banksy could no doubt work amusing, and even profound, wonders with this--as could a group of experimental poets, composers, and urbanists.)
Of course, this particular graffiti mural is confined to a video. But it does make us think. What if you combined this idea with QR tags and augmented reality? We've seen similar things before. Artists have "hi-jacked" billboards using iPads and AR, and damaged murals have been "restored" using QR tags. It might be pretty sweet if you could hold your smartphone or tablet up to a piece of graffiti or a mural and watch it come alive.… Read more
Augmented reality is far from mainstream--but a couple of exhibitors at CES are working hard to change that.
Blippar, which last week raised an undisclosed amount from Qualcomm Ventures, has been in technical development for a year and just launched in August. It has about 30 partners in the U.K, and is working hard to sign up more and break into the U.S. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sensics, which makes augmented-reality goggles that I'm told are used for educating Air Force mechanics on how to maintain aircraft, is showing at CES a new technology platform that puts the whole experience in one untethered, head-mounted, bug-eyed contraption. I had to try it.
SmartGoggles is a tech demonstrator, not a product you or I can buy, but it's an interesting look at a potential future of entertainment devices. In the demo I saw on its stereo goggles, you have the first-person perspective of a giant, towering over skyscrapers. With a game controller, you can punch them and they collapse. As you turn around, your view moves with your head. It worked well enough for me, and unlike some virtual reality-products I've tried before, I didn't notice any nauseating lag between my movements and the view of what I saw. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Initially launched in July of last year, Aurasma, the augmented reality platform for Android and iOS, has just gone 3D. And did we mention it's a top-10 finalist in this year's Mobile Apps Showdown at CES?
If you're not familiar with Aurasma, it's a bit like a QR code reader that doesn't actually use any QR codes. See, with Aurasma, you simply have to point your device's camera at something, and if the app's image recognition technology fires, then a 3D pop-up will appear. You can watch the pop-up as-is, overlayed on … Read more