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.