Posted on July 29, 2009
There are some great examples of augmented reality concepts out there right now – basically interactions between physical actions (e.g. touch, sight, or sound), and virtual responses – for instance, I could point my iPhone at a building, and using the in-built camera, an application could recognise the building, and draw segments over the top, labelling all of the occupants.
This is the sort of stuff we’ve been seeing in high-tech movie scenes since the late 90’s, but it’s finally becoming realistic at a consumer level thanks to devices such as the iPhone which have built in GPS, camera, accelerometer, and magnetometer (so they know where you are, what you’re looking at, from what direction, etc)…
What this means is that we’re starting to see really functional crossovers between real, physical environments, and virtual ones.
I can’t wait to see this start to emerge in the event space.
This could include things like cameras in a venue that automatically recognise known audience members, and greet them on screen by name, or it could extend to allowing the presenter to show a physical document on screen via a camera, and then ‘touch’ a word in the document to ‘hotlink’ it to a PowerPoint presentation or video.
There are a lot of opportunities to showcase the technologies in events which will ‘wow’ the audiences, but I think we will start to see some real, functional purposes starting to emerge over the next few years.
For now, here are a couple of good examples of what’s possible outside the event world -
‘petitinvention‘ discusses a concept towards the ‘future of mobile search’ on their blog – these graphics are great concept renders of what is now possible with a device like the iPhone…
BMW UK – Print out a special square and move it around your desk in front of your web-cam to control a BMW Z4 on your computer screen. GE Money has build something similar, sending the visual ‘key’ to clients by mail as marketing collateral – an interesting way to compel customers to visit their website.
Posted on June 5, 2009
Microsoft has released information about it’s new XBox games platform, dubbed Project Natal. The system uses a 3D camera to allow participants to interact with games without requiring a controller – it detects the people in the room and translates their real movements to commands in a game.
We’ve already seen the guys at pptPlex working on using much the same 3D camera technology to control PowerPoint – and I’m sure that it’s just a matter of time before great things happen in this space – I could imagine some really neat interaction with a system like Dataton Watchout. We’ll see…
More information about the Project Natal platform on the XBox website.
Posted on May 30, 2009
Apimac makes a great presentation timer for Mac. It’s freeware, and supports displaying the current time, count-down, or a stop-watch. The timer has a great, simple full-screen mode which looks excellent for presenter fold-back or confidence monitors. Tip: press the space bar in full-screen mode to start or pause the timer.
Posted on May 30, 2009
A new service called Poll Everywhere allows you to set up interaction with your audience via Twitter. Your audience can participate in surveys or ask questions via Twitter, and results can be included in real-time in your PowerPoint presentation. Poll Everywhere is free for up to 15 participants, then has a subscription model depending on the number of audience members you require.
Another interesting presentation service that uses Twitter to interact with your audience is Visible Tweets, which is a free web-based service that displays tweets from a specific user, or with a specific tag using stylish Flash transitions… would look very neat on LCD displays around a conference venue.
Posted on May 25, 2009
I think the PowerPoint 2007 add-on, pptPlex really resembles one of the future shapes that live presentation content will take. It’s even more interesting to look at some of the R&D the development team have been doing with interactivity.
The pptPlex team has posted about experiments interacting with pptPlex using a 3D camera and a Wii controller – this really ‘haptic’ approach to presentations is so natural and surely represents the goal for a progression from the standard remote slide advance button and laser pointer.
They’ve most recently been testing pptPlex in combination with the touch-screen capabilities of Windows 7. If used in combination with a multitouch display or touch-sensitive projection screen sensors, this will be really exciting stuff for live presentations.