IF YOU ever come across a photograph of communist-era East Berlin, or modern Pyongyang in North Korea, the cityscapes look drab and featureless. Billboards, advertising hoardings, neon signs, shopfronts and graffiti are conspicuous by their absence.
To future eyes, that is how drab today's London and New York will appear. Not because of an even greater proliferation of advertising and street art but because of an in-vogue technology called augmented reality (AR), through which digital information and graphics are overlaid onto the physical world.
If predictions come true, towns and cities will soon be teeming with digital annotations floating over landmarks, businesses and people. You will need AR glasses to see them, but they are likely to be as commonplace as cellphones.
Samsung today announced TecTiles, its new programmable NFC stickers. The TecTiles can be programmed using the TecTile programming app for Android. Once programmed, the TecTiles will become small NFC activators that can tell any NFC smartphone to perform an action such as sending a text message, setting an alarm, or silencing the phone.
“With millions of NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy smartphones currently in the market and the arrival of our flagship device Galaxy S III, Samsung saw an opportunity to expand the value of NFC beyond mobile payments,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America. “The launch of Samsung TecTiles is another example of Samsung’s ability to innovate new products and applications that improve the way we use our mobile devices for everyday tasks.”
Sohn might have a point. Discussion of NFC technology has mostly centered around using it to pay for things in stores, yet the technology has the capability to do much more. Part of the reason for this is that NFC is not widespread in the smartphone market. Though most high-end Android smartphones have had the technology for over a year, Apple has not yet embraced NFC.
Things are looking up, though, and rumor is that Apple will incude NFC in the iPhone 5. When that happens, the technology will finally take off, which is what Samsung is betting on.
The scope of what TecTiles can enable is quite impressive. First, any phone settings can be changed including volume settings, screen brightness, and Wi-Fi settings. Phone calls can be initiated, text messages can be sent, and Google Talk chats can be started. TecTiles can enable different actions for social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. They can be used to give directions, contact information, or open web pages.
Augmented reality (AR) is a view of a real and physical image with some of its elements modified by computer generated effects, resulting in an enhanced perception of the real-time image. A perfect sample of augmented reality is the virtual score board while watching your basketball game.
Google’s Project Glass is said to introduce augmented reality to its users. By just using the glasses, you can see your Facebook status, Twitter updates, maps, and a lot more running in the background of your physical environment.
Augmented reality has also been integrated in apps on your Android device. By using your phone’s GPS, camera, and other sensors, you can view your surroundings with the added simulation of augmented objects.
In this app list, we will be talking about some of the best augmented reality (AR) apps for your Android device.
TDS here is the short list. Click to original article to get the details:
Launching in nine European countries at the end of last year, Layar’s social and user-generated augmented reality app Stiktu is now available worlwide, allowing you to tag and add your own content to any scannable surface with your iOS or Android smartphone.
From today, users around the world will be able to add drawings, text, images and even stickers to magazines and posters, adding to existing creations or leaving them for other people to find.
In this June 5, 2012, photo, Bill Leggett works on the Espresso Book Machine, known as Opus, at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington. Self-publishing has been made easier since the macine by On Demand Books debuted in 2006. The machine also can makes copies of out-of-print editions.
The first machine was installed briefly at the World Bank’s bookstore. Through a partnership with Xerox, the company now has machines in about 70 bookstores and libraries across the world including London; Tokyo; Amsterdam; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Melbourne, Australia; and Alexandria, Egypt. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In the latest example of how Walmart is using mobile as a key part of its promotional strategy for summer blockbuster films, the retailer has launched the Web Slinger augmented reality app, featuring Spider-Man and enabling customers to interact with in-store displays to access exclusive content.
Walmart’s first effort to tie mobile and film promotions together was an augmented reality app for The Avengers film, which was introduced in April and enabled customers to turn an in-store shopping experience into a scavenger hunt. The latest app is in support of the retailer’s promotional efforts for the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man.
Augmented Reality - Projection Mapping. Projection mapping, in relation to the march of technology, is not new. It is, however, getting more and more advanced as the software and hardware become more sophisticated.
The digital touch also gives consumers reasons to keep coming back for more - as with Heinz Tomato Ketchup's use of blippar technology on-pack, to inspire Ketchup lovers with a virtual recipe book.
As designers and brand owners explore the possibilities that augmented reality technologies can unlock, packaging is gaining the potential to communicate brand values at a new, heightened level.
Suremen have transformed their deodorant cans into game controllers which, when pointed at a webcam, let (freshly deodorised) players face a range of adventurous challenges from mountain biking to water skiing, all in a bid to win cash prizes or sports gear.
Canada's Lassonde have also done this with their Oasis brand, using augmented reality to turn the Tetrapak juice carton into a virtual goalkeeper in the Oasis All-Stars soccer game.
The summer is upon us and that means that NBC News’ morning show, “Today” is throwing its annual concert series. The network will be using the Toyota-sponsored event to experiment with social TV as they bring on acts like Pitbull, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and more. They kicked off their social TV efforts with their first partnership with Viggle for Friday’s Pitbull performance
One of the problems with 3D printing is getting a hold of things to print. You can of course download pre-made objects from a variety of places like Thingiverse; but if you want something unique and made by you, that’s where things get a little difficult. Here are 9 quick and easy apps for making something a little more unique.
Ads with Near Field Communication (NFC) interactivity work best when they have a strong call to action and offer dynamic content, according to a large-scale trial in Reading by 13 brands including Magnum and Mercedes.
(TDS - seems like a big "duh!" moment - but I guess we have to keep proving that there is no easy, silver-bulleted, no-brainer marketing activity that allows companies to throw out some crappy ads and expect consumer engagement. The consumer deserves and demands more.
Brilliant! Blurb Instagram Books makes it easy to turn your Instagram photos into a a photobook you can share with your analog friends and family. Grandma is gonna LOVE me!
Here is the clip from their site:
Your Instagram photos are fabulously in-the-moment. Now, enjoy them forever with just a few clicks. These 7 x 7 in. (18 x 18 cm) books bring your Instagram world into the real world beautifully and instantly. Choose our ProLine Uncoated paper for extra analog goodness.
Augmented Reality Augmented reality (AR) is rapidly growing mobile technology that has many uses for businesses. One of the most powerful applications is the marketing functionality it has for small- and medium-sized local businesses.
(TDS -not sure that I believe all the stats, but an interesting spin)
When it comes to buying shoes, very little has changed over the last few decades.
That could all be about to change with a brilliant new installation that has been making its way around busy German train stations, allowing users to try on shoes virtually while on the go. It creates an augmented reality version of you which appears on screens wearing shoes and it is all powered by Microsoft Kinect.
Families will soon see content ratings for shows that stream online, with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox pledging to bring maturity guidelines for their television shows to the Web.
Major networks on Monday announced that they would begin their voluntary programs on Dec. 1, and determine their own content ratings systems.
TV content ratings are also voluntary by broadcasters and not enforced by law. The basic ratings in TV-PG for parental guidance suggest, TV-14 for content inappropriate for children younger than 14, and TV-MA for content inappropriate for children younger than 17.
An interactive game installation is proposed across a number of sites in London, by introducing a social game intervention known as “Detonator”. The game design is configured based on key data relating to the use of landmines during war in many regions of the world, as well as the continued refusal of countries that have not joined an international convention to ban the use of landmines.
“A Mine Kafon is utilised in this interactive playground to serve as a mine detonator which is guided by the participants throughout the AR landscape in the quest for full eradication. The main goal of this project is to create gaming hot spots which utilize augmented reality to transform the city into a series of interactive playgrounds. (((Or rather “maimgrounds.”))) This ideally responds to the cultural/social and political conditions of the site to create an installation which will be a contextually relevant to the area and make visible the underlining political concerns of the site.
This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) didn’t introduce much revolutionary new gaming technology, but it did demonstrate that Augmented Reality (AR) apps are about to go mainstream - and they may spell doom for QR codes.
TDS - fave lines from the article:
... you can program AR to respond to existing assets already in circulation, like a year-old movie poster, a vending machine or the Empire State Building. Of course, that suggests there will definitely be some conflict-management challenges in networked social environments, where different AR systems try to interact with the same real-world images.
Augmented Reality opens up enormous real-world marketing opportunities. The first time a Coke machine seems to comes to life and offers you a deal, QR codes will seem positively quaint.
"...since May 21st, train riders in Japan have the dubious privilege of being able to use their cellphones to access some advertising by simply placing it next to the handles they use to stay upright."
Personally, I think the novelty of this type of NFC marketing will wear off VERY quickly, and probably leave a bad taste in consumer's mouth. A shame they didnt take a more creative approach.
TDS - this article links you to a blog post about "The Invention of Hugo Cabaret." This is just one of the Top 100 Children's Picture Books. Each blog post includes a short summary of the book and pictures from the book. I wasn't sure where to post this article (physical? digital?) but I am including this in my archive for transmedia because most of these books deserve to be turned into rich, immersive storytelling experiences. Truly beautiful.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man, in possession of a good printing press, must be in want of a project.
Indeed, we want this monumental project: to produce 138 copies of Pride and Prejudice, in 3 volumes.
The text will be hand-set in metal type, printed letterpress on archival paper, illustrated with at least a dozen original wood-engravings in each volume, hand-bound in fine materials, and be a treasure to read.
No private press has undertaken such a small edition of this novel. Hardly a private press today will undertake a work of such length, and choose to hand-set it. So why do we? We love Jane. Moreso, we love Pride and Prejudice. And we know others do too. Favourite stories are treasures. We like to design them that way."
(TDS - all lovers of stories should support this campaign. In today's world of e-books, it makes no sense to purchase mass market, crappy paper versions of a book. However, a high-quality letterpress edition is a work of art, and should be valued as such. Please contribute!)
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