Microsoft Research showed off some fascinating new technology concepts with three demo videos, two of which heavily integrate Kinect sensors. The projects include a 3D desktop concept, the IllumiShare remote sharing system, and the Holoflector augmented reality mirror, all of which can find diverse applications in gaming, education, and business.
Total Immersion, a company dedicated to the niche but growing world of augmented reality technology, has created a new proof-of-concept racing game demo that puts you in the driver's seat. Among the advanced technology is the ability to use a webcam to implant a player's face in the game, complete with a racing helmet behind the wheel. And speaking of the wheel, gamers don't need a special controller; they can just hold up anything shaped like a steering wheel.
There are a number of head mounted displays on the market today that try and look like sunglasses and offer you a simulated larger screen for your video watching. We have talked about the offerings from Vuzix in the past with the firm showing off the Wrap 1200VR a couple months back. A new competitor on the market is from a company called Silicon Micro Display (SMD) and the glasses are the ST1080.
When you want to see what a product looks like in the space you live in, on your doorstep, in your yard, or in this case, on the baseball field, you use augmented reality - and that's just what Ford has done in collaboration with the folks at GoldRun to promote their new 2012 Ford Escape. What they did was promote the vehicle with what they so plainly called "the Campain," one in which users were invited to participate in either an L.A. Adventure or a Nationwide hunt. Users on the L.A. Adventure took part in a 3-day scavenger hunt through downtown Los Angeles during Blog World Expo 2011, capturing unique AR objects as they went, secret messages and content included, prizes in the wings!
Qualcomm's pretty keen on its "Digital 6th Sense" idea, and having played with the company's latest DVD augmented reality app we're starting to see why. Capable of recognizing DVD covers and overlaying live streams of preview clips on top of them on your smartphone's display, the app isn't just AR for the sake of it but an example of how modern chipsets like Snapdragon are capable of some seriously impressive real-time crunching. Check out our hands-on after the cut.
Vuzix has demonstrated its latest augmented reality (AR) glasses for the first time, the Vuzix STAR 1200 (See-Through Augmented Reality), intended to drive development of personal head-up displays. Shown to SlashGear at ShowStoppers during IFA 2011 today, the STAR headset is a development of the WRAP 920AR we tested all the way back at CES 2010; however, the STAR system uses a pair of transparent 852 x 480 displays that allow you to see the real world with computer graphics overlaid on top.
The Droid Bionic is set to launch on September 8 and in the days leading up to the release, eager fans will get a chance to win their own Droid Bionic by participating in a scavenger hunt. The event was just initiated yesterday on DroidDoes.com and @DroidLanding, but today the augmented reality app required to follow the clues has been released. It's called ARena and can be downloaded from the Android Market.
Here's a really neat tablet concept that combines a transparent screen with augmented reality capabilities and a scanner. The different ways in which a tablet of this combination can be used seems endless, from purely scanning documents to translating text while hovering over a page to being an easy augmented reality navigation tool.
A new Apple patent application has surfaced today, revealing that the company has some interesting plans ahead for its "Map + Compass" iOS feature. Titled "Augmented Reality Maps," the patent application shows that future updates to the iOS Maps app could incorporate the use of the iPhone's camera and its various sensors to provide mapping data to visually augment live video and images.
I think augmented reality is pretty cool especially when the AR has to do with giving more product details on something you are looking at or when the AR is just plain cool. The thing is that generally, the AR coolness requires the products to be tagged and I have yet to see a product with a tag in my travels that supports AR.