Monday, February 23, 2009

ridiculously cool: augmented reality

So at some point or another I ended up on Mckinney's interactive community email list, which is funny because my interactive capabilities maxes out with me personally speaking to someone. I cannot program, I know very little html, and I know CSS stands for cascading style sheets and it stops there. I am grateful I'm on this email list because they talk about the best stuff!!!
I went to, what McKinney calls an, "I think that's cool" presentation where folks just present what they think is cool. Art, advertising, craft, it's all valid. This last one was produced by a few interactive members and it *exploding sound* blew my mind.
I do love learning about crazy new technologies. Just ask Matt or Chelsie. I'm constantly showing them neat new apps on my phone which Chelsie indulges me and says is cool and Matt, well, Matt...never mind.
So, the new thing I'm going on about is called augmented reality. Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh. Picture this if you will; a piece of paper with a weird grid on it. Got it? Okay now you take that weird grid and turn on your camera on your computer or phone (with the right app) and magic happens.
Magic like this little movie from Boffswana. Or this smart grid from GE. Or this clever little Valentines solution.
And finally this, create your own augmented reality from Microsoft. Which I did. And was pleased. And showed Chelsie. But not Matt.
I downloaded this app called tag reader to my phone, created a tag on Microsoft Tag's beta and had it point to one of my flickr pictures.

I clicked render and print to have a little piece of technology magic to call my own. I can't really do anything with it now but show my friends.

me: check this out! i can take a picture of this little box, with my phone and a minute later it takes you to this picture i took!

friend: why don't you just have a link instead of something that requires an application?

me: it's not as cool.

friend: okay. i'm hungry lets get some food.

me: no, don't you get it? it's cool because it can be used anywhere. magazines, movie posters, merchandise...

friend: how about nachos?

me: newspapers, bill boards, business cards....

It's just neat okay. Do me a favor. If you have this app on your phone, try it:

There's a similar program/company (I don't know how to refer to it) called JagTag which I will be playing with shortly.

credit where credit is due:
All this information came to me through Mckinney's interactive community.
The "I think that's cool" presentation was presented by Trevor OBrien, Rafe Kemmis, and Beth McKnight.
This Microsoft Tag was offered up by Glen Fellman and was counter offered with JagTag by Trevor.
The Boffswana link was offered by Melissa Blavos, the smart grid by Anna Lowe and the valentines thewarehouse by Kristin Siha.

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