Recently in the Augmented Reality Category


Someone Has Created a Holodeck

A Queen's University researcher has created a Star Trek-like human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other. "Why Skype when you can talk to a life-size 3D holographic image of another person?" says professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab.

Google's Project Glass VR Headgear

Project Glass, Google

"A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We're sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do."

Control the cosmos with your fingers

"What do you get when you cross a WorldWide Telescope with a Kinect motion-sensing game controller? You get the "universe at your fingertips," according to Microsoft Research's Curtis Wong, who demonstrated the gesture-controlled cosmos today at the MIX11 conference in Las Vegas. Actually, having the universe at your fingertips is how Wong has thought of the freely available WorldWide Telescope project since it was first unveiled in 2008. The software, which is freely available through a Web-based interface and as a standalone program, displays the night sky and lets users zoom in on cosmic imagery from a wide variety of sources. You can even go on 3-D fly-throughs of distant galaxies, or create your own tours of celestial hot spots." More by Alan Boyle at MSNBC

You've seen these things in SciFI films for years - "Aliens", "Avatar", "Star Trek" and so on. Headsets that let you communicate and record everything around you - hands free. Now you can buy one that works with your iPhone/iPad or Android device. Imagine equipping NASA Away Teams in the field or astronauts in space with these devices and allowing all of us back home to literally peer over their shoulders as they work and live in space and exotic research locations on our own planet.

NASA and Gowalla, a mobile and web service, have partnered to bring users one small step closer to the universe. The partnership populates Gowalla with NASA-related information and four virtual items -- moon rocks, a NASA patch, a spacesuit and a space shuttle -- that can be found at agency-related venues.

"NASA's partnership with Gowalla is a creative way for us to reach out and share information about what the nation's space agency is doing," said Bob Jacobs, NASA's deputy associate administrator for communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Gowalla users who virtually "check-in" at NASA-related venues and places of discovery via their smart phone have a chance to find the four agency virtual items which can be swapped for other items, dropped in locations or kept in their vault. Anyone with a Gowalla account who collects three of the four items will receive a special pin in their Gowalla Passport. In addition, the first 100 people to collect three items will win the special edition NASA+Gowalla Map: Search for the Moon Rocks by JESS3, a creative agency that specializes in data visualization.

Video: Avatar, Augmented Reality, and NASA

Augmented reality, coming soon to a Coke can near you , DVICE

"Now that the super-animated almost-real movie Avatar is about to roll out (in theaters 12/18/09), here come the advertisers with spectacular new types of techno-toys to accompany the flick. For instance, if you hold a tricky Coke Zero can up to your webcam, it sprouts a controllable helicopter. Click the frame above to see a video of that. Hey, this looks like fun. This augmented reality (AR) juju will, be plastered on 140 million bottle-shaped cans, some 30 million fridge packs, as well as bags, bottles, popcorn bags and fountain drink cups. You'll also be able to pick up a card at McDonald's that you hold in front of your webcam, and when you go to an Avatar-branded website, out pops an animation that looks like a real mechanical toy. There will be playable games associated with these controllable 3D animations, offered as bonuses with Big Macs and Happy Meals at the Micky-D fast feeder."

Keith's note: The education and public outreach potential for NASA and all of its stuff is blatantly apparent to me. Imagine putting these things out such that anyone with a computer and a webcam can have NASA stuff jump out and do its thing with all that cool goodness. For all intents and purposes, this "juju" is printed. It is that simple. Imagine having a 3D ISS to play with ... or every spacecraft NASA is designing, new extrasolar planets ... For that matter, imagine the potential for design reviews where components can be sent out for examination - printed using 3d hololithography ... astronaut CAT scans and doppler ultrasound readings from orbit - or Mars.

Avatar Director James Cameron was on the NASA Advisory Council for a while ...