Augmented Reality; for when the world is just a little dull…

I’ve posted a few things up here and there on Augmented Reality before, but I thought given the sheer amount of new stuff that’s coming along, I’d try a little round up of what it is, great examples etc…

So, the name pretty neatly captures what it is; using technology to overlay another level on top of what you see. 

Wikipedia describes it as “the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.”

Think about the way that a Disney animator used to layer the animation frames on top of a background… the background is the real world, and the actually animated characters are the computer generated stuff.


The easiest way to understand it though is of course to see it in action.

One of the best examples I’ve seen recently is this by Frantz Lasome… it makes you really envious of kids who’re born into this world:

Augmented Reality Toys (Work in progress) from Frantz Lasorne on Vimeo.

(from PSFK)

Then over on Dazzleships (our sister agency OMD’s blog), Sam’s shown some great examples like the one from Lego, who’ve used the technology to show what the finished model will look like if you hold the box up to the camera, all in lovely 3D:

And finally, I thought I’d show something that explores the rich vein of ‘useful’ stuff that’s coming through too; ‘Wikitude’ takes the GPS positioning from a suitable phone (such as the G1 in this example), then presents you with an augmented view of your surroundings through the window… pointing out ‘points of interest’ to you:

All in all, it’s a really exciting area, ideal for fulfilling any of the entertaining, educational, useful or connective criteria that brands must be creating in place of top down monologues.

Have a look through the Wikipedia listing for some more ideas on where Augmented Reality could be useful for you…