Augmented Reality In The Real Digital World?

Augmented Reality  (AR) has been around now and although some people are still showing off with it, not many people have found a useful application for the concepts and technology involved. This is a shame as I believe that there are numerous applications that could be both entertaining and useful.

There are a number of different techniques that I have seen classed as ‘Augmented Reality’. Some might not adhere to the exact definition but their desire to stretch the boundaries allows them into the umbrella phrase in my book.

From Wikipedia we also find that these boundaries seem not to be set:

Definition

There are two commonly accepted definitions of Augmented Reality today. One was given by Ronald Azuma in 1997 [2]. Azuma’s definition says that Augmented Reality

  • combines real and virtual
  • is interactive in real time
  • is registered in 3D

Additionally Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino defined Milgram’s Reality-Virtuality Continuum in 1994 [3]. They describe a continuum that spans from the real environment to a pure virtual environment. In between there are Augmented Reality (closer to the real environment) and Augmented Virtuality (is closer to the virtual environment).

Milgram's Continuum

More recently, the term augmented reality has been blurred a bit due to the increased interest of the general public in AR.

 

Examples:

Esquire Magazine: A recent video posted about Esquire magazine using AR technology shows how the owner of an Esquire magazine can put their magazine up to their webcam and cause an effect on screen. This ranges from changing fancy background to having Robert Downey Jr. start talking to you. Sounds great? Yes it is, until you find out you have the hassle of downloading a program you get with the computer. Not to mention that the only thing that happens in ‘real time’, here and now, is the reader holding a magazine in front of their computer. Superbly done it seems, but not an industry changing solution just yet in my opinion.

 

Other Examples:


Now we are talking! Nice one LEGO.

So finally after quite a while of research I find someone who has really used the technology and concept with skill, class and a solid concept that could, should and would drive sales. This company is LEGO as seen in the below video which perfectly, interactively and simply demonstrated the contents of each box as a virtual model when a camera recognises the top of the box.

 

Now this is fun.

 

Now where do we go from here???

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New Words – Verbal Memes. How unfriendly!

Reading in the London Metro today that the New Oxford American Dictionary has named ‘unfriend’ as word of the year.

The word has it’s place but in my opinion other words have been far more useful and taken up a much larger place in the vocabulary of the digital generation. Their argument is that it has moved into the ‘real’ world to be used as a term for severing ties with an ex or an old friend.

Technically, unfriend is a word that will apply on few occasions in a person’s digital and real world. Word of the year in my opinion should be more of a widely used word. A positive word maybe. The urban dictionary collates all these wonderful sayings. I will listen to them more than the Oxford American Dictionary as their ear is closer to the ground, and their contributors are more in touch with modern culture.

With words like hashtag and intexticated also on the short list it seems like their attempt to embrace a language alien to their heritage based roots is somewhat amiss.

Freemium and Funemployed were also listed in the economy sections. Two words I have never heard used, while deleb (a badly thought out term meaning a dead celebrity) and tramp-stamp (a term probably older than the dictionary itself) were up for novelty words.

Last year’s winner hypermiling which has something to do with being cheap with petrol is something I’ve never heard of too. Locavore on the other hand, which won in 2007, has some interest and should be used more as I know many people who like to eat only locally produced goods.

I hope the English Oxford Dictionary keeps it’s distinctions between slang and proper English as we go into a new era of language where new words are spoken and spread every day.

Now all I have to do is find a situation that needs a new word.

Memes. Spreading like a virus. The epitome of Social Media’s power.

 

meme

–noun

a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

 

A meme is in essence something that a person presents to the world that the people who see/receive it find conceptually appealing (that is the short explanation, kind of…). These people then take that idea or even just the presentation of the idea and copy it over and over again.

A great example is LOL Cat. This idea has spread with the help of http://icanhascheezburger.com/ into something else. They have given their users the power to create their own node of the meme quickly easily and without the need for any software skills or pre-taught artistic knowhow.

 

 

Or FAIL pictures. These are quite entertaining and this meme has become something of a farce at times with people putting FAIL onto any old picture. So successful a meme that the words FAIL and WIN are now deep set in my office’s vocabulary (not to mention a huge number of people around the world… WIN!).

 

Then there is the Xzhibit smile and frown meme, started with his Yo Dawg! expression. Some of these are great and Arnold Swartznegger has reared his head in a number of these from a few frames in the Terminator, (they are particularly funny).

 

Anyway, is there a meaning to this or are they just a good bit of fun? More research and more time looking at thousands of good and bad pictures, phrases, concepts and scribbles and I’ll be able to tell you.

In the beginning there was…

I am starting this blog to reach out into the interesting world we live in and build a wealth of information that entertains me and hopefully any unlucky soul who find this accidentally.

Enjoy.

I hope.