Weekly Linkfest

As you might have noticed, I've been on hiatus from blogging for the last couple of weeks, but hopefully I'll have more time on my hands from now on. I haven't really kept track of what's happening in the AR Sphere in the last week, so sorry if this linkfest seems a bit anemic (and sorry if you sent me a link by email and I forgot to publish it)

  • Flash has FLARToolkit. Silverlight developers, please welcome the SLARToolkit.
  • MIT's Technology Review on TAT's Recognizr.
  • Which leads nicely to this demo of Comverse's mobile face recognition application. It's not really AR (though it was celebrated as such), but I guess it can be useful in conferences.
  • Augmented tombstones. I actually think this will become common in 80 years or so when the internet generation will get disconnected for a final last time.
  • Another projected map concept by designaffairs studio (via toxel.com).
  • Total Immersion and your fingers power a halfpipe skiing game.
  • And finally, Glow is an iPhone app that will let you see how your friends are feeling, which could go very nicely with TAT's recognizer but makes do with a browser like augmentation.
This week's video is waiting for me to blog about for more than a week. But Toby beat me to it (damn hiatus!). It's called Immersive Rail Shooter and it's the work of one David Arenou. And it's real. If you want to read more about it (and that's a sure thing after watching the video), you can find more details on Augmented.org.

DIPLOMA : Imersive Rail Shooter from David Arenou on Vimeo.

Have a great week!

Weekly Linkfest

Yep, I was too busy this week to write posts, and the coming week doesn't seem to be better. Luckily, there's always the weekly linkfest, where I can point to news stories that I haven't covered this week (some of those you might have seen if you are following me on twitter):
The weekly video is of a concept application that merges historical photographs of buildings with the images captured by a mobile phone. Created by the Dutch MonkeyPunch group it shows what could happen if Microsoft will add a web interface to their latest batch of Photosynth features:

Weekly Linkfest

I hope you are ready, here's another linkfest:
  • Tish Shute talks with Brady Forest of Where 2.0 on commercial AR models, whether this is going to be the year of augmented reality and what were the breakthroughs of 2009 (and of course, ARWave)
  • RealVision.ae calls for using augmented reality when coming to teach history. That's a winning proposal, however you probably won't be able to be in the actual location to "AR-experience" most of history lessons (unless your school is super rich).
  • The guys responsible for Yelp's Monocole give a lecture at Stanford's iPhone application development class.
  • SparkView is a mobile AR browser for tracking people.
  • First game based on the Layar platform is demoed at the Mobile World Congress.
  • GlyphPlayer is a one stop shop for all your marker based AR needs (free for non-commercial use)
  • And, for the Chinese new year, now you can download an application for your iPhone showing where you can drink Tiger beer in London's Chinatown. Apparently it's the year of the tiger, but I don't know if that's a coincidence or not.
There's a lot more links piling up, but, unfortunately I'm quite busy till the end of this month.
This week's video is a demo a game called Sky Siege (link to appstore) that will set you back $3. I think that's the best looking pseudo-AR game we have seen yet, too bad its website looks like it was built for geocities.

Happy year of the tiger and valentine to all our readers!

Augmented Maps with Photosynth

I don't have anything intelligent to say about it, but I was compelled to post it. I'm a big Photosynth fanboy, and always believed it has great potential for augmented reality. On this talk from last Thursday at TED, We see that Microsoft has similar ideas in mind. I would expect more surprises coming from Redmond in 2010

You can read more details about it over at MIT Technology Review or on Bing's blog.

Augmented Makeup Gets a Little Bit Better

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a Korean magic mirror that lets you try on makeup. I thought the results were less than satisfactory:

Well, the Japanese have tamed the virtual makeup down. Created for cosmetic giant Shiseido by Fujitsu, the following application can be found in kiosks across Tokyo:

More details on Engadget

And, if you are not lucky enough to live in East Asia, Walmart and the British drugstore chain Boots are piloting the following kiosk by EZFace. Unfortunately, it works on a static image and doesn't augmented live video feed, so it's not really AR.

Sportpong - It's Fun Being a Paddle

In Switzerland you can play Pong. Yeah, I know, you can play Pong for about 30 years all around the world, but you could never play it like this - outside, with your legs serving as paddles.

3 vs 2 Rorschach kids… from Sportpong on Vimeo.

It's nothing new either - you could have rent the setup for the game for at least a couple of years. The company behind it writes:

The setting is very simple: a reflector on each foot is the only physical tool to interact with Sportpong. The interface is integrated in the field which is projected on the floor. The players control the game with their feet, nothing else. This control is intuitive, naturalistic and very direct.

I really, really, can't wait to try it out. Last year I had a session of Atari Pong (the first in twenty years) and enjoyed it immensely. This looks even better. Would be great having it on ARE or ISMAR.
More details on sportpong.ch via SwissMiss.

Weekly Linkfest

The time has come for another fun-packed linkfest.
But before we begin, a special message to those of you who like beer as much as AR, and live in the vicinity of Munich. Toby of augmented.org is inviting you to the first Munich AR regulars’ table. You can find more details here, and don't forget to take pictures. Feel free to tell me about your own AR event/meetup!

And now, for the links:
There were a couple of other interesting things happening this week, don't you worry, I'll have a dedicated post about them in the very near future. In the meantime, this week's video comes to us via @chrisgrayson. It's very cool, but unfortunately, I don't understand how it was done. Yes, ARToolKit was involved, but how was the robot augmented to fire rockets? What provided the distance readings? If any of you read Japanese and can shed light on those question - please do so in the comments:

Have a great week!

SREngine Goes Public

It's been a while since we last visited one of my favorite AR application, Sein Kanemura's SREngine, and my, how it has grown!
What started as an AR browser-like image recognition based project, has now been released as a "Point&Find" like application for the iPhone. Available for free on the Japanese App Store, Eigaru, powered by SREngine, enables to look at movie posters and see associated trailers and reviews:

Now correct me if I'm wrong (I don't have an iPhone), it does look like Eigaru works by analyzing the video input, and I thought that the API does not expose such functionality. So, is Eigaru the first of its kind?

More details on SREngine's new home page (in Japanese)

iButterfly - Augmented Coupons with Wings

I really fancy this next iPhone app. It's called iButterfly and it transforms the habit of collecting coupons into a fun little game. Created by Japan's Mobile Art Lab, the app tasks its users with catching virtual butterflies , each representing one or more coupons. You can even share
"butterflies" with your friends via Bluetooth.

Though the technology is not overwhelming (GPS based), the overall execution looks great, see for yourself:

Via MobileBehavior