Friday, January 29, 2010

Augmented reality

The Thursday issue of USA Today included a map of the upcoming Harry Potter theme park in Florida. By holding the map in front of a webcam, the paper comes to life onscreen.

Here's yours truly doing just that.

Worth mentioning is that the trick only works with print. But if you don't have the newspaper because it is SOOO expensive, you can print the PDF map file.

And don't use your phone with the image in front of the camera. It doesn't work. I tried.

Alert readers might have noticed that Esquire has used augmented reality as well.

Augmented reality has, of course, many more useful properties. There are a number of iPhone apps, for instance, that use the technology to turn the phone into a theodolite:

And there are more useful apps, of course, like the one that lets you shoot at your friends with lasers.

Very important technology, indeed.