Saturday, August 08, 2009

3D Geek Alert: Augmented Reality and Touchable Holography!

Jim here. Some cool developments in what is becoming known as 'Augmented Reality' and 'Touchable Holography'! First up, lets have a look at some cool gaming technology using a handheld portable device. While the interface is not stereoscopic 3D, it certainly could be kicked up a notch to do that with something like a lenticular lens.

AUGMENTED REALITY is all about introducing virtual elements into a real world environment. Georgia Tech developers have created a game where a town square is situated on a flat piece of paper - you then use your portable device to view the town through its camera screen. The game is called "ARhrrrr" which pretty much nails the gist of the game: Zombie hunting.

Towns people are trapped in the town square and you must save them from invading hordes of zombies. By looking through your device, the town becomes an interactive game world, much like AVATAR's toys come to life when you scan their i-TAG. When you move your device around, it will seem like you have a bird's eye view to the mayhem and the perfect vantage point for zombie termination.

Don't forget I introduced you guys to this tech back in March of this year. AND I have an idea to take this a step further - have your friend(s) use his device to operate another sharpshooter -OR- become a super zombie. All you would need to do is link the devices so that each knows what the others are doing. I hope the inventors are reading this! AWESOME technology. Heck if you had standard objects for buildings, cars etc - you could build your own battle environments with a computer program and printer! Add in stereoscopic viewing and think of the immersive factor for these games.

How about Touchable Holography
? I knew this technology would arrive when I saw the individual components for this develop over the past year - like the Ultrasound Tactile Display (October 2008). I have got to see and feel this in action because now holography is involved! The applications are endless and the technology seems to be evolving fast.

They actually use Wiimotes as their infrared cameras in combination with retroreflective markers to track the user's hand position.

If you are going to SIGGRAPH 2009 you can see it for yourself. And for a PDF on how it works - check this out.

We are getting closer and closer to the ultimate 'Holodeck' experience! Mix in something like the
EON ICUBE and we are there. Make it so!!

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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