Tech from the future helps us go to the past

Augmented Reality, remember those two words as this technology is going to be everywhere in the future. The applications of this technology are really astounding and something that can really overwhelm you with information at times and also amaze you every so often. Today’s application is something that will amaze you for sure. Today’s application comes from the Museum of London who have decided that in order to experience the history of London, you really have to walk around and look at it, quite literally. They have come up with an iPhone App that will for sure make your journey within London, memorable to say the least. The app overlays four hundred years of historic images on today’s city streets.

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Life in 2020 by Forbes, Augmented Reality

At the end of last year, Forbes magazine asked frog design to help them envision the future in 2020. In December, they held a workshop in San Francisco that brought designers, futurists and journalists together to think about the current state of computing, how we might experience it 10 years from now and, perhaps most importantly, how we might make the transition into these possible futures. Take a guess at what technology was at the center of their vision, Augmented Reality.

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Try on a Tag Heuer watch from the comfort of your own home

Omega, Rolex and Tag Heuer 3 watch brands that I am really looking forward to getting some day. Some day, hopefully not too far away in the future.  Tag Heuer most famous for the Formula 1 timers has been a bit of an innovator to get into the worlds of Rolex and Omega and find a niche for itself. And I am this dream of mine might be the same for a lot of people round the world. So Tag Heuer decided to let us all try a watch virtually.

Yes, its Augmented Reality again at play. The AR pp, made by UK company Holition, works by reading a barcode on a paper watch you print out from Tagheuer.com and fasten to your wrist. Select a watch, hold your wrist in front of a webcam, and as if by magic your chosen model appears on-screen on your wrist. Consumers visiting the TAG Heuer web-site can download Holition’s proprietary software, print out a Tag Heuer wrist-band and experience, through a web-cam, a selection of this seasons TAG Heuer watches in full 3D as if they were actually wearing them in front of their computer.

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Augmented Reality Apps that I want to see today !

and How long it might take in reality.

Everyone remembers the movie Terminator 2, where Arnold gazes around his surrounding to find a lot of information about his environment which he uses to make appropriate decisions. The viewer is told about this awesome gadget when we are allowed to view through his eyes per say. Augmented Reality is demoed sort of for the first time, commercially.

Engineers, designers and futurists have been trying to make it a reality along with making demos of how it is going to look like. Based on what we have been seeing in the past few months, it is clear that it is possible and the feasibility and working details need to be worked out. Various smartphones have started offering clunky AR apps that show you things like restaurant reviews when you point your camera at a store’s facade. But with all the crazy technology already on today’s market, we’re saying that’s not enough! Here are some applications we want to see today.

1. Augmented Reality Gaming :

The experience of gaming is to take an awesome overhauling through Augmented Reality, there are a few demos available on YouTube. With the advent of the Playstation EyeToy as well as Microsoft Project Natal the gaming industry is reaching a point where they are not only happy to embrace the technology but also make it awesome.

I Want to have awesome gaming experience like first player shooter games to be available now. But seriously I think this can be made completely available after the invention of good AR spectacles or the contact lens (See below)

2. Augmented Reality Windscreen for the Car

Yes I did write about how GM is working its way forward to getting this feature enabled in our cars. But having this instead of a normal screen is so much more cooler, getting all the information that you would need while driving around is a great feeling along with making life so much more simpler.

Driving around to not only not loose your way, but be guided to emergency services when you are lost for direction is also an advantage of Augmented Reality.

GM / Siemens already have prototypes available, so this might be available in the next 2 years on a large scale.

3. Door Peepholes with embedded AR

Augmented Reality in doors can enable to have a look at the person on the door, making it safer to check on the person. When someone knocks on our door, we want to know not only if they look like a murderer, but also their name and age. This could be possible using a facial recognition camera built into the peephole. While we’re at it, why not a quick popup of our visitor’s Facebook profile or their most recent tweet? In an AR world, ain’t nobody taking us by surprise!

We already have Business cards which make use of Facial Recognition for identifying people. This needs to get extended. Lets hope that this happens soon and the product can be available in two years tops.

4. Augmented Reality Maps

Be it the Pandora of Avatar, or just Lakshya from Bollywood, 3D maps are cool. Not to mention the fact that in the age of combat preperation and planning they provide an added advantage to be able to see the actual scene where you would be able to go. Add to it, Google Maps, Sketchup and the Google Map Builder. You have all the information available to make a 3D map of most of the  places.

This technology will not only help combat, but will be able to provide support in terms of relief as well as interesting addition to the classroom as well. I would say this should be available now, as the technology allows it to be possible.

I guess I will do more of these applications in the part 2 of this post. Look out for it :)

Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.