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 ...

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