Personalizemedia.com just posted a detailed look at a video entitled Augmented Worlds Video Part One – Recognition. The focus is looking specifically at the business model implications of the widespread use of a large tablet AR device and super fast, always on tagged/recognisable content. There are other videos in the series covering education, games & stories as well as utility near futures – but though it would be cool to cross post the video here too! Enjoy and read more about the video on the link above
AUGMENTED WORLDS Pt.1 -Â Business Opportunities: RECOGNITION.
An ‘iPad 4.0 – like prototype’Â stroll around an augmented Sydney. Video, music devised & created byÂ GARY HAYES of MUVEDesign.com – there are some key assumptions with this video detailed here –
ASSUMPTIONS WITH THIS CONCEPT
OK this tablet device with camera is running on a very fast connection, instant video and image so we are assuming city wide wifi or 4G type service connection. Also some elements pop up immediately so we can assume the user in the video (me) has setup some preferences or it has learned what type of service I like so it gives instant fulfilment vs dropping into endless menus (more on the interface next). Also the device is extremely aware of its location to a few inches, so we can assume that some of the â€˜recognitionâ€™ elements are speeded up, being tied into precisely where the user is stood/orientated â€˜combinedâ€™ with recognition â€“ this will speed up the overall process vs using onlyÂ Kooaba like Smart Visuals Recognition which puts a lot of pressure on server-side processing.
Notice on theÂ bottom of the interface I have put the words â€œCONNECTED TO: Sydney CBD People and Places cached dataâ€ which is basically pointing out that the speed of recognition to data display is super accelerated when all information is pre-cached, and the way intelligent caching works means the more popular the â€˜targetâ€™ the faster the response. Privacy â€“ there are a few sequences here and in the longer video that show people being â€˜recognisedâ€™. Obviously a real concern at the moment, so the concept video assumes the users being targeted have given their consent to outdoor recognitionâ€¦I know this is a post in itself (see one of mine recently) but lets assume like TagWhat and FourSquare like services, users are allowing their â€˜trustedâ€™ friends and companies (for benefits) assess to being recognised â€“ at least for the purposes of this concept!
A cross-post from Gary Hayes’s Personalizemedia Site (with permission!) … As promised a more specific ‘commercial’ follow up to my previous post on this topic which was more ‘story’ centric. I am developing and producing a range of Augmented Reality (or if you prefer AR, ‘blended or layered media’) applications at the moment. I have also been asked to present at a few conferences and create a detailed white paper on the implications of AR for government & business looking at privacy, legal, copyright & crime issues. As readers of this blog will know I also lecture, run workshops and work with creative teams to come up with future ‘social entertainment’ based around virtual worlds and augmented reality.
But the purpose of this short post is to simply list and try to categorise the many types of business Augmented Reality apps appearing in the market. The first manifestations of AR appeared in the late 60s, became real in the 70s and by the 90s were already being used by major companies. Now portable computing is finally powerful enough to deliver AR to anyone who has a smart phone or latest generation PC or console. But first my simple definition of Augmented Reality.
Information, 3D models or live action blended with or overlaid onto the physical world in real time. A camera & attached screen is used to view the combination of reality & real time virtuality. Devices or systems commonly used for AR include
But the purpose of this pretty detailed post is to simply list and try to categorise the many types of business Augmented Reality apps appearing in the market and to try to identify opportunities.
MUVEDesign are now developing a range of augmented reality apps, particularly aimed at the new iPhone 3Gs and are happy to accept enquiries from interested parties. For those unfamiliar with AR there are some videos below that give a sense of the area. Simply put AR is the physical, real world seen through a live often mobile ‘camera’ (web cam, iPhone etc) then in real time, digital content is layered over the top – locked & linked to locations, people and other visible real world elements.
We have come a long way since cardboard cutout VRML back in the 90s. It is interesting to watch a revolution take place at the moment in Mixed & Augmented Reality and one particular subset, augmented reality. Gary produced a compilation in 2008 of various AR and MR area in this short video (at the bottom of this post you will find a transcript)
Another exciting area of AR is emergent game play. This example from a Japanese company called Geisha Tokyo Entertainment is your very own augmented reality Geisha Girl. It is interesting watching a story develop so imagine the potential now for story tellers or performers who can give their â€˜participantâ€™ audience the tools to bring the storyworld out into their personal space. I think in advance of the oft mentioned â€™surround-o-filmâ€™ (yes holograms of Bond jumping around you in your front room, god help us!) this is a simple and elegant solution â€“ given we all have webcams built into laptops, games consoles, mobiles etc etc: With this particular package you get two cubes and two sticks but imagine a cube for a range of characters or sets for your latest film or kids TV show, perhaps available as a premium.
Finally the combination of Augmented Reality and Social Media is probably the most obvious and compelling near term offering. Being able to layer the rich social web over the top of the real world adds real value. This video speaks for itself.
Below is the slightly futuristic transcript from my video compilation above, for those who canâ€™t hear the narration. (BTW a better audio version available as a 50MB download here). Attribution for most clips appear in this post.
Is this reality? Is this fantasy? In 2008 the great transition truly began. Whereas a decade earlier we used to â€˜log inâ€™ to cyberspace, now we began to semi-permanently inhabit virtual space and the digital world started to leak out into everyday life. It began to infiltrate our shopping malls and became integrated with our everyday lives. Humanity started the relentless journey towards the natural future where virtuality became a greater reality,Â and where digital fantasy and organic reality were inextricably intertwined.
Through the early 2000s pervasive wearable computing started to break down the walls that used to separate our virtual existence from our physical one. This same technology also allowed us to embed ourselves seamlessly into virtual worlds which is where we could truly experiment with future forms of entertainment, art, education and business.
In these new places we became the real time, living celebrity. Many of us became avatar stars, pixel gods â€“ exalted as those linear film and TV icons. This became the only place for many. By 2007 hardcore gamers were already spending fifty five hours per week â€˜insideâ€™ these shared worlds and learned to forgot about the real world. This became the place where their most meaningful hours were spent. Everyone began to blend the two domains, combining them in new ways, driven by an invisible urge. Thus started the global meshing, of todayâ€™s mixed reality.
But in 2009 questions were asked. As in the many films that hinted at our transhumanist future, would the physical embodied self ever become redundant? Would we truly evolve as self contained, digital entities? May we as well be slumped in a chair with a cable plugged into our heads? Regardless, as the real world became inhospitable we all started to crave for the immersion and began moving our physical selves into these spaces. Even more than that we wanted our peers our un-virtual audiences to be able to share our experiences there. It became a contagious as the most poignant moments and memories were the ones in virtual space.
But we needed to look beyond these screens and into our own souls. Find the truth written along the â€˜thin white lineâ€™ that separates analog from digital, person from avatar. This was the beginning. It always was. As far as the meshing or blending of reality and virtuality, in 2009 they were the equivalent of grainy black and white movies seventy years earlier. Our experiences were simultaneously part real, part virtual but it didnâ€™t matter which was which anymore. Both were valid and they depended on each other. Those early parallel existences of twenty years ago started to move humanity forward, released our imaginations and we coexisted with our precious and ultimately fragile, physical selves. The great crossing had begun.
We are well into 2009 and there is a lot of news popping about the likely growth of social virtual worlds and their adoption. As a tangent game based virtual worlds are also still in relative growth as covered in SMH’s post Video games thrash movies and DVD, referring to the shift in Australia and reflected in the rest of the world, of more money spent on interactive vs passive entertainment ” video games industry is now double the size of the box office and more than 40 per cent larger than the movie disc industry in Australia”.
But back to social virtual worlds and I have quickly mapped some dates and SVW events (most are recent) onto a slightly modified Gartner ‘hype cycle’ curve. For the uninitiated here is a brief wikipedia definition.
Since 1995, Gartner has used hype cycles to characterize the over-enthusiasm or “hype” and subsequent disappointment that typically happens with the introduction of new technologies. Hype cycles also show how and when technologies move beyond the hype, offer practical benefits and become widely accepted.
Of course in reality we have really been through a sine wave quite a few times since 1987 through 2005 but since the relative maturity of services like Second Life, There and others true and robust applications are emerging, beyond the traditional ‘gamer/entertainment’ use. MUVED created a post a few weeks ago showing widespread investment in a range of niche virtual worlds and this trend is seemingly continuuing apace. Raymond de Villiers, CEO of Wisdom Games is very bullish about the use of these worlds for business communication in a post entitled Growth of Virtual Environment Expected in 2009…
“This Deakin University Arts Education community in Second Life aims to stir the imagination. It is a world we create and create within. It is at once a work of art and a place to inspire, make, share and present art. Our presence in SL is both for performance and is in itself a performance.
Our Second Life existence is an extension of our involvement in the real world where we are passionately immersed in the practices of teaching and learning in our art forms of visual art, drama, music, dance, and media.”
Medium rez 105MB MP4 available here. Music composed and performed by Gary Hayes. These images with comments can be seen here.