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Commercial Applications of Augmented Reality

Wed, 08/31/2011 - 08:26 -- rprice

The MIT Media Lab is at it again, this time in collaboration with Best Buy. Everyone has seen AR tricks like making a video pop up on a magazine, but here is one that hopefully improves the experience for a confused consumer and makes a good use of modern technology.

I also like their 2D barcode design - instead of being little square boxes, it looks more organic.

The original concept is actually quite steampunk.

This is from the same group at Media Lab who created the awesome siftables, which I think have been turned into a product based on Scrabble now. According to David Pogue, Hasbro "borrowed" the idea, the two aren't directly related. They do have a product you can get called Sifteo, though. They are currently in pre-order and promise to be shipping in a few weeks, along with an SDK in C# (yuck! but I guess a lot of commercial game developers already use that language).



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Cool stuff! I've loved the MIT stuff for a long time. Some of their earlier work inspired my own Augmented Reality work I did back in 2005-2006 ( AR-TUI Demo / Apollo Beyond Technical Layout ). Was very stoked to get a brief interview in MIT's Technology Review (3rd paragraph-"Commerce and Entertainment"-- ).

The overhead projection is cool, but mix this interactive AR application with one of these insane mid-air holographic Heliodisplays and it will finally be the future we've all pined for! Well, at least the one I've pined for. :-)

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