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Augmented Reality Applications and Future of Video Displays

On Tuesday of this week, Augmented Reality actually trended on Twitter. This surprised me, as it meant that a large number of people have been exposed to this exciting technology. Even Google Trends shows the number of searches for "augmented reality" overtaking searches for "virtual reality".

Augmented reality is when artificial metadata or even 3d objects are injected into reality, usually as an enhancement. The most common example that most people have seen is the first-down line in football on TV. While a simple example and only viewable on TV, it does help express the usefulness and novel applications of this technology.

In September, it's rumoured that Apple will make augmented reality available to iPhone users, with the launch of the 3.1 OS. The addition of the magnetometer (digital compass) and live video on the iPhone 3GS are instrumental in allowing proper augmented reality applications. The compass allows developers to determine which way you are facing. If you combine this with the GPS and video capabilities, then you can overlay images, objects, text, etc. on top of things in the real world.

This alone would be exciting, but where it really starts to get interesting is when people get tired of holding up their phones in front of them all the time. The iPhone and iPod already brought back video glasses, such as the Myvu, from obscurity when Apple introduced video playback. Unfortunately, most video glasses make you look like a tool or a failed Star Trek rip-off castmember.

This is where companies like Lumus, Vuzix, Microvision, or even Sony come in. Using OLEDs or micro-projection components, they're actually creating glasses that are both small, see-through (in the optical sense, not the video method that older VR used), and what is probably oddly most important, fairly normal looking. These devices will continue to get smaller, more attractive, and more affordable for users rapidly. Vuzix's glasses are set to launch around fall of this year, while most of the other companies are planning on launching their glasses around 2010.

Of course, glasses are still fairly bulky and while most people are fine wearing sunglasses when it's bright out, there might be more objections to wearing glasses all the time, as current glasses wearers can attest. After glasses, contact lenses are likely to be the preferred method of wearing video displays, probably available around 2025 or so.

All-in-all, it's a very exciting time for augmented reality. Below are some videos of the various things discussed and a multitude of applications that either already exist or are being worked on today. Now if I could just convince some of these companies to send me some demo units so I can get to work on more applications...

More Info:



D90 on Amazon

Looks like Amazon is ready to put up the Nikon D90 as well (which isn't surprising, since Target and Amazon are linked), typing in the ASIN (B001ENOZY4, gleaned from the cached Target page) into a search auto-fills in the title for the URL, which you can see here: -- Currently a 404 page

The D90 has the impressive rumoured specs of:

  • Video recording
  • 12.3 Mpx.
  • ISO 200-3.200 plus Lo1 (100) and Hi 1 (6.400)
  • 3" 900.000 dots LCD
  • 11 AF points
  • Live-View, AF contrast, Face detection
  • Matrix sensor for metering 420 pixels RGB
  • Powerful speaker (for video in review mode)

While the lens is a Vibration Reduction zoom with:
  • AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3,5-5,6G ED VR
  • 15 elements/11 groups
  • 1 aspherical
  • 1 ED
  • 1 Hybrid Asph.
  • Minimum focus: 0,45 m
  • Diaph. blades: 7

As found here.


Kay's Graduation Photos 2008

Kay's Graduation 2008

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Hmmm I knew there was a reason I disliked Rachel Ray, she supports terrorism by wearing scarfs! Ooo that is so evil. Dunkin' Donuts saw through this malicious plot and subsequently dropped her ads. What has the world come to these days... scarfs supporting terrorists? really?


Future of sporting Events on TV

ok so save the nascar jokes but i had to post this. Very interesting article, and I saw a similar one of how this summer they'll be allowing you to view races from the computer by chosing from the same set of camera angles the director has access to.

Regardless of whether or not you're into nascar, think about the technology and potential of being able to watch a live sporting event by chosing the camera angle from your house (and the potential this has to spread beyond sports, to any live events! To me that's awesome!

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