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Archive for November, 2009

AR for learning science

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Besides in the digital binocular station (last post), MindSpace Solutions also has other marker-based AR demos that are kind of interesting – (imho – still lack compelling visuals)

From AugmentedPlanet blog:

…A couple of my favourites are: Explore a Human Heart which has some really nice effects. Using five markers, four of which represent a piece of the heart while the fifth provides information on what you see. As you combine 2 or more cards the augmented reality images interact with each other.

The other demo I really like is the Solar Explorer. Similar to the heart demo but this time each marker represents a planet, when you add two planets together they scale to reflect their comparable size.

Jupiter and Earth but which is bigger? Bring the cards together to find your answer Use the infomation card to find out more

Building Human Heart video
Solar Explorer video

Written by admin

November 22nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Applications

AR binocular stations

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Here’s a good example to show that AR only looks good when done well with eye-popping graphics (not a surprise to anyone, really).

Where as the AR for YanMingYuan – a tourist attraction in China – has the idea and concept of bringing the ruins to life, it looks kind of fake and bordering on the cheesy side…

On the other hand the AR digital binocular station by NZ based MindSpace Solutions looks a bit more appealing (though, why not design the binocular to look more updated if they have to reconstruct it anyway?) and the integration of video content is always nice:

Note that in both cases, since it is using a stationary device, GPS or heavy video feed analysis might not even be needed to assemble this AR experience. As long as the computer knows the position of where the camera is looking (and we can calculate this using a rotary encoder), overlaying video and special fx onto the camera feed should be relatively simple.

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November 22nd, 2009 at 1:51 pm

AR Restaurant Browsers Review

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It’s been a little more than a month (or is it two?) since mobile AR apps have started to make an appearance on the mobile market. And, it’s clearly not making that big of a buzz as a lot of AR developers and future forecasters were drumming it up to be back in early August. Not a big surprise, as these apps are really quite limited in their functionalities. Our biggest peeve: why overlay geo-data on camera view when it’s not all that accurate and it’s easier to use with a vector map view anyway? Having said that though, we’ll acknowledge that it has to start somewhere.

Augmented Planet, an extensive AR blog, has just posted a review of AR browsers. The author used several browsers to locate his local Indian restaurants, and the results are really not that great. Read the details here: http://www.augmentedplanet.com/2009/11/augmented-reality-browsers-head-to-head-part-1/

Here’s a bit of summary from the post:

Layar: “Out of all the applications tested Layar local search performed the best with the least amount of data errors, of the 8 restaurants shown I only spotted 2 that were misplaced in residential areas.”

Robotvision: “..The app however lists JPF Drum Tuition and Olga Piano Tuition as local Indian restaurants as well as plotting restaurants in residential streets. The augmented reality view has a number of problems, for starters there is no compass to tell you where things are making it really hard to find anything. The other problem is if places are close together then its impossible to select all but the front option”

Yelp: the two benchmark restaurants were relocated on the map and vanished from the map, respectively. “One last comment about the AR view is it’s so unresponsive, items in the view sit around regardless of where you point the camera then gradually slide away. Yelp is not without it’s mapping errors, further afield from my home location I noticed missplaced pubs, Chinese resturants and even a few resturants placed on the motoway.”

Urbanspoon:
“UrbanSpoon surprisingly for an application that is dedicated to eating and finding restaurants performed the worst with the most mapping errors. Brashwamy’s is completely missing despite having submitted it via the applications add a restaurant function several weeks back. Sharod is shown but also located in completely the wrong location.

Putting the application in to AR mode has a useful feature where the restaurants are represented by a bubble with the bubble colour reflecting the customer feedback. Clicking the bubble you can get the phone number, vote or add a menu with your camera. It’s just a shame that the data is so inaccurate that you’ll never be able to find the restaurant to see if it lives up to its hype.”

Granted we’re still in the early days of AR and the technology still need a little time to mature, but erratic data and bad user experience like these, if it becomes a norm with AR app, then we’ll be reduced to merely using AR as advertising gimmicks and this promised ‘terminator vision’ could very well fizzle away. Anyone remember VRML?

Written by admin

November 10th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Posted in Locative AR, Mobile, Tech

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