Thanks to Augmented Reality (AR), television fans of the Vancouver Olympics are being treated to the digital line. Shani Davis or some other Olympian is skating around the track in a qualifier when all of a sudden that line on the ice appears. It moves closer or further away. It’s the time to beat. Viewers in front of their TV sets are probably wishing Shani could see the line. But he can’t. It’s just another augmented reality application, layering computing power over real world experiences. Numerous smart phone apps are also applying AR to everything from finding nearby restaurants or train stations to showing how golf balls will roll around on a specific green.
Now for anyone thinking that AR has reached its potential, a group of people in Malmo, Sweden might beg to differ. Travelers in Scandinavia might think of Malmo as the place where trains from Denmark, Norway and Sweden meetup. But travelers in the smart phone world are more interested in how The Astonishing Tribe and Polar Rose, based there, are changing the user experience. It may be scary, it may be fun, but thanks to these folks your smart phone can now put names and faces together. Point the phone to that guy at the lectern and you soon pull in data from his digital life. Scary if you’re the lecturer.
The Astonishing Tribe, a company that designs user interfaces for smart phones and other hardware, is also bent on astonishing everyone with their TAT Home technology, a gesture powered interface that allows users to manage contacts, messaging, music and other widgets without leaving the home screen. But long before the digital era, AR started in art museums with cassette tapes that allowed someone to learn more about the artwork while standing in front of it.
See demo here
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