Thursday, February 12, 2009

Augmented (mobile) reality

For some time I’ve been fascinated about the idea of (mobile) augmented reality, the concept that things in real world can be increased or extended by some clever use of software. This sounds too theoretical to be interesting, but let’s take some examples what this can be.

Marketing people have already found really interesting ways to use new opportunities. What would you think about a car launch commercial that would allow you to explore the 3D model of the new car - on top of the newspaper. This has already been done by the Mini car company, check this page. The trick is that you use your computer’s camera to capture a special image and from the computer’s screen you can then enjoy and explore the model. Why this is better than studying the model from the pictures? Because this is a much more engaging experience!

To experience this by yourself, go to Boffswana’s page, print the image and prepare to be impressed. Tried this at home and my kids went crazy. How would you use this?

On the mobile side I have an idea that I’d love as a tourist. Take some new mobile terminal that has embedded GPS (to tell where you are) and a compass (to tell where you are looking at). Add that information to data sources similar to what Google Earth uses and display the information on the device’s screen while the camera is taking live picture from your neighborhood. This solution not only could tell you where you are, it could also tell you what you are looking at. The marketing people could sell ads to this service; imagine that when you look at the world through service like this, it could display you where in the picture is a good restaurant, for example. Physical and digital world meet on the mobile terminal's screen - nice.

It seems that Nokia has tried to create a service like this a couple of years ago, but at that time devices weren’t ready yet and add-on hardware was needed. Don't know whatever happened to the project, now time would be ready for applications like this.


I was just pointed to a blog post made by a fellow Forum Nokia Champion David Caabeiro, he has already made an application that's demoing the idea I presented above. This proves my claim that terminals are now ready for applications like this!


1 comment:

Gilles R. said...


You might find this Android application interesting: