Augmented Reality in 2010 - How Did Our Predictions Fare?

Last year I asked a group of AR bloggers and the readers of Games Alfresco and Augmented Times to guess what 2010 holds for augmented reality. You can see them all here. A year has passed, and 2011 is just around the corner, it's time to confront reality and check how prescient were we. Remember, this post is not about making fun of some or praise others. Actually, most of our predictions were incorrect, but at least we are not shy about them.

Top three accurate predictions

Top three inaccurate predictions
So, what are your predictions for 2011?

Nerdferno and 2 Other Augmented Reality Games from Georgia Tech

In late June, the establishment of Qualcomm Augmented Reality Game Studio was announced, a partnership between Qualcomm and Georgia Tech's Augmented Environments Lab, with the goal of "pioneering new advancements in mobile gaming and interactive media". Six months later, the first crop of mobile based games is coming out of the studio, and this blogger is far from disappointed.

Shotgun Showdown is a two players western styled shooting game which utilizes two $20 bills as an arena/required marker. I wonder whether the winner takes both bills.

If you thought that tracking dollar bills was original, than get ready for Volcano Fever, a game that uses condom wrappers as a marker. It's more than just a weird artistic choice by the game designer. The goal of Volcano Fever is to teach proper condom use.

I understand the volcano metaphor, but what's the octopus supposed to symbolize? ... Anyway, next is, as promised, Nerdferno, a game that puts you in a God like position, determining the fate of cubicle dwellers. If you looked for original AR content, you've found it:

You can read more about these games and others, such as Spintopia and Bug Juice, on the studio's website, and about previous AR games from Georgia Tech here.

Post Christmas Linkfest

I hope you've all have been nice kids during the last year, because here's a bag of links for you:
I have frequently lashed out at gimmicky usage of augmented reality in ad campaigns. However, the next campaign by German agency brand.david powered by Junaio gets only praises from me. First, it's for a good cause - bringing the subject of domestic violence to light. It also seems to use AR very effectively:

happy new year!

Kafkara - Augmenting Kafka

What is it about Franz Kafka's masterpiece, The Metamorphosis, that bring so many to adapt it to new mediums?
Last year it was adapted to virtual reality, and now a new free Android application inspired by the salesman turned insect story has been released. Meet Kafkara:

It's pretty basic right now, due to the fact that a single man is behind it. That man, Clive Cox had the following to say:
It allows you to take a picture of a person's face which is then extracted and placed on a 3D avatar and shown in augmented reality. The avatar can be given a message or have one recorded which it can then speak on request. The app also allows ones to automatically create avatars from peoples facebook or twitter profiles (if they have a face in their profile picture) and the created avatar will be kept up to date with that person's tweet/news feed.

More details on

ARTags - The Sign of Apps to Come

I hate it when I'm scheduling a post just to find out that someone else (this time Augmented Planet) publish a post about it just a day before my goes up. Luckily ARTags is important enough to deserve two posts within 24 hours.

Coming to us from France, ARTags is an AR drawing application, that apparently makes it very easy to draw nice looking pictures on your mobile phone and add them to your current location. Though it's quite new, already more than 1500 pictures were drawn using this app all across the world.

But that doesn't make it special. What makes ARTags special is the fact that it's a cross platform app. That is, the pictures are visible using Wikitude, Layar and Junaio (though I had a bit of a problem finding the right channel on Wikitude). Instead of creating a new browser application, or integrating within only one of the above three, the folks behind ARTags decided to have a presence in all of them. That's absolutely the right decision, at least at this stage. I certainly hope that other app developers will follow.

Now, if only someone invented an app to make its user better artists.

More information here.

Snowy Weekly Linkfest

Back. It seems that I escaped London on the very last minute before the airports closed down. Here's a rundown of augmented reality links for the last couple of weeks:
  • PrimeSense, Willow Garage, and Side-Kick Games join hands to create to OpenNI an organization whose goal is to promote natural interaction. First step was releasing 'official' drivers for Kinect.
  • DanKam, an AR application for the color blind, is simple and brilliant in the same time, and at least according to my twitter feed, it actually works.
  • Here we go again. The Augmented Reality Summit to be held in London on June 16th is the first of 2011 crop of commercial AR events.
  • Metaio have some cool augmented magic tricks to celebrate Christmas.
  • Follow this link to see a video of bad acting and terrible music. Oh, and some clever eye tracking based augmented reality UI from Helsinki university of technology.
  • A nice piece on Neatorama, which went QR crazy lately, on surprising mediums for QR codes, including a sand castle and a M&Ms.
The biggest news these days is Word Lens. I'm sure you have all seen it already, and I plan to write full post on it next week, but for the oft chance you haven't yet encountered it - it's augmented reality based translation app for the iPhone. Or in other words, magic:

Have a great week, winter/summer solstice and merry Christmas!

Super Augmented Mario Bros

Mario, probably the best known (fictional) plumber has already appeared in more than 200 games. No surprise that fans imagine an augmented reality game starring him. For example, here's Youtube user Kain the heartbreaker's vision of a Mario game on iPhone 10:

I don't usually consider projection on buildings augmented reality, but this video from Madrid has a fine twist. Instead of scaling a virtual construction site, Mario fights Donkey Kong on a real building:

Finally, here's another video coming to us from Madrid, this time from Espada y Santa Cruz Studio. A bit more information can be found here (in Spanish).

super mario through an augmented world (TEST) from espadaysantacruz studio on Vimeo.