Biggâr - Bigger is Better?

We have covered quite a few art projects using augmented reality as their canvas, but nothing of the scale of Biggâr. Created by Sander Veenhof, can best be described as a virtual sculpture composed of more than 7 billion blocks encompassing the whole world.

Using Layar, you can not only view Biggâr but also interact with its blocks. A single tap on your phone is all it takes to change the color of all 7 billion blocks (sadly only three colors are available to choose from). I failed to experience a live color change, but it should be quite a trip.
More info here.

Weekly Linkfest

I'm going to London next week (where I'll might be tempted to get a Kinect), so this is probably the last linkfest till mid-December. I'll try to keep my twitter account updated with interesting links while I'm away. Anyway, here's this week's linkfest:
I never met the guys from Layar in person, but I think I would really enjoy a conversation with any one of the founders. I think the secret of their success is not luck or being first to market (which they weren't), but being both highly intelligent, yet very nice folks. Here's a short interview with Claire Boonstra on Layar's past and future. Winning quote - Augmented reality is the next mass medium, the first unboxed medium:

TEDxAmsterdam: Thought Leaders Series - Claire Boonstra from Klaas Kleiterp on Vimeo.

Have a great week!

Help Albert Hwang Create Spatial Computing 3

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might remember Albert Hwang's concept videos titled "Spatial Computing", discussing futuristic augmented user interfaces. I was fairly impressed with them, that's for sure.
Turns out Hwang worked on each one for six months, which might explain why he never got to producing a third installment in this series. Now, however, he's ready for the commitment, and wants our help. Hwang is raising money on to create "Spatial Computing III: The Home Theater System". He's looking for $1600, and though $1064 were already pledged, he has only 11 days to get the rest.

[Games Alfresco readers - please follow this link to see the video]

Weekly Linkfest

No doubt about it, this week was under the sign of Kinect. Dozens of amateur programers used the OpenKinect drivers to create wonderful, many times AR related, demos. These and more in this week's linkfest:
And here's yet another video showing the power of Kinect. Created by Theo Watson in a single day, this is a very impressive skeleton tracker. How long will we have to wait till someone finds a way to combile AR glasses with Kinect?

Interactive Puppet Prototype with Xbox Kinect from Theo Watson on Vimeo.

Have a great week!

Augmented Reality, Meet Kinect

I know that envy is allegedly a deadly sin. But, common, what a man supposed to do when witnessing Oliver Kreylos amazing work with a hacked Kinect. If you were living under a rock for the last couple of days, Kreylos is the guy behind the 1 million views strong video, showing 3d video capture with Kinect:

Watching it, one can not avoid thinking about long we have to wait before someone creates an augmented reality application using Kinect. The answer - not that long, apparently Kreylos already made a tech demo:

If you are the lucky owner of Kinect (damn you!), you might want to try and compile this project on your own. Sources can be found here. Now that we have a proof of concept, what application or game would you want to see augmented that way?

Weekly Linkfest

Here are some of the stories you might have missed this passing week from around the AR-sphere:

This week's video is short and sweet, showing how a guitar lesson can be augmented. We have seen implementations of similar ideas before, but as far as I recall, it's the first with marker-less tracking of the guitar itself. Of course, it's nothing but a demo, and I'll be surprised if it tracks any guitar but the one in the video. It's cool, nonetheless:

Have an excellent week!

Arrrgmented Reality: The Perfect Shirt for Augmented Reality Enthusiasts

What, Threadless haven't heard of natural feature tracking yet?

Getting one will set you back by $18, but every pixel there is worth its weight in gold.

AR2D2 - Shoot Down Tie Fighters in Augmented Reality

Post update - the original video was pulled down, but luckily was uploaded again, and some of my questions were answered (in red)

I have so many questions about the next video, and no answers -
Is it real? yes.
Is it an official Star Wars game? probably.
How can I get it? On the Appstore somewhere in mid November. Look for "Falcon Gunner".

I acknowledge that this game is probably not much better than the lurid Firefighter 360, but I feel compelled to try it out, attracted by some mysterious force.