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Augmented reality – what are we looking at?

Posted by
6 July 2009

Wikitude - Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the new buzz word it seems. The technology itself has been around for a while, but all these nerds (they’re not nerds? yes they are nerds) are starting to use it to make amazing applications. So it’s getting interesting for a non-techie like me.

The ones that are getting me interested are mobile services like Wikitude and Layar. They are basically applications that, using the phone’s camera, recognise where you are and tell you what what’s around you. A very useful little tool and I presume it will allow people and businesses to add descriptions, making it both social and commercially viable. And as the new iPhone comes with a built-in compass, I’m sure these applications won’t just be limited to the Android phone for long.

On the gimmicky side, you have things like the BMW Z4 interactive 3D game. Gimmicky, yes. Pointless, yes. But as my friend here in the studio just said: “That’s something my dad would love!”. So it’s yet another tool in the box for brands to raise awareness and to get people to create their own content.
Although the app only seems to allow you to export the final result as a still and not show the whole process, like the video this smart chap made.
Still, the BMW tv ad is a little crap, even if it was just for not pointing people to the game.

UPDATE: I forgot that @philtidy mentioned last week that the US Postal service was using AR too to let people measure which box they need for their parcels. Nice.

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