Ronnie05's Blog

Profiling Augmented Reality(AR)(Part II): How it works?

Posted in The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on September 10, 2009

Augmented Reality, the class of technologies that overlay data on top a user’s view of the real world, is a very hot field right now. Mobile AR apps, like Layar and Wikitude are getting the most attention, but there are other ways Augmented Reality can be implemented beyond the mobile phone.

The following video is a good LAYAR tutorial.

Virtual reality used to be technology’s Holy Grail. It created new worlds where one could jack cars, date babes and win wars. In contrast, augmented reality – in which computer graphics are layered onto a real world image – was the boring sub-technology confined to sports footage replays and technical engineering. This one is more to showing the path of a tennis ball after a player has hit it, or demonstrates to an engineer how to piece a complex machine together by modelling it in 3D. But with augmented reality about to be opened up to the mobile phone-owning masses, it has become an exciting field for development. Developers are racing to find useful and interesting ways that computers can enhance our interaction with the real world. And that could be by superimposing reviews on restaurants, directions on streets and Facebook profiles on people. It could be trivial, it could be fascinating. Perhaps the most useful application hasn’t been figured out yet.

How it works?

The technology that has brought augmented reality to mobiles is called LAYAR. As the name suggests, it layers computer information on top of “reality” as seen through the phone’s camera. Layar uses the phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) to work out where you are and what you are looking at. Different types of information appear on different layers.

1.Sightseeing layer,Wikitude which contains tourist information about what’s around you – the posts are linked to specific buildings and points of interest (the Tate Liverpool, the Belfast docks, Big Ben) and pop up, like virtual blue plaques, as you pass by them

2.Estate agent layer, which flags up properties for sale or rent: as scanned by a camera down a street, available properties are highlighted.

3.Another layer, called Trulia, will also tell how much the house is going for, giving pictures of the inside and a phone number to ring to arrange a viewing.

4.Not limited to ” seen” things in the viewfinder – properties two streets away will show up too. There’s a layer which tells where the nearest council facilities are and plots them on an image of the street.

5.Applications like Brightkite bring social networks into augmented reality. Partnered with Layar, it offers an app which lets see where friends are on a real-time map. Like the magic map in Harry Potter, they appear as moving dots.

6.Even more excitingly, posts – pictures, messages, videos can be created which can be anchored or “geo-tagged” to the places. They stick in that virtual space like graffiti or post-it notes and one can view them later. One can also view  posts of friends or other peoples’.

Check the video which stars the Android powered and LAYAR at work. Fascinating demo which includes teh LAYAR utilities and Applications and thoughts about the business models for LAYAR. (Note: LAYAR is available on Android phones for their Maps and Compass utilities)

As with every new technology, Application developers have started developing the Layers on layers of virtual content (Imagine Twitter, Facebook, Hotel Info, Tourist Info, Promotion window etc). While some posts will be more interesting than others, but, like with the rest of the internet, we’ll get used to searching and filtering for what interests us.

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] here:  Profiling Augmented Reality(AR)(Part II): How it works? var AdBrite_Title_Color = '0000FF'; var AdBrite_Text_Color = '000000'; var […]

  2. […] Go here to see the original: Profiling Augmented Reality(AR)(Part II): How it works? […]

  3. […] Originally posted here: Profiling Augmented Reality(AR)(Part II): How it works? […]

  4. […] Here is the original: Profiling Augmented Reality(AR)(Part II): How it works? […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: