Augmented Reality

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Have you ever experienced augmented reality? I’m guessing you have and didn’t know it. Odds are you’ve watched a football game on television sometime in the past decade. What you might not have known is that the really cool yellow first down line is a type of Augmented Reality (AR).

What looks so simple to the viewing eye is far from it. The Yellow First Down line alone requires a semi-truck of equipment, eight computers and at least four dedicated people.

Now, with today’s emerging technology, AR is beginning to pop up in mainstream promotional formats, museums, cell phone applications and even children’s books.

So what is augmented reality? In its simplest terms, AR is the act of mixing the real world and the computer world in real time. Better yet, it also allows for real-time interaction.

While some forms of AR require special goggles for viewing, the most impressive applications are turning out to be computer webcam interactions. By printing out a “key” or a “badge” associated with a particular promotion, a user is asked to hold the printout in front of their webcam. Images or video immediately appear and you may begin to interact in your new augmented reality.

Cell phone applications will perhaps initially be the most widely accepted form of AR as they allow the built in camera to scan everything from bar codes to buildings to seek information and interact.

ABC is using an impressive augmented reality application to promote their highly anticipated new fall series Flash Forward. Follow the links to print your “key” and try it out.

Click here for FlashForward Augmented Reality Experience

Click here to watch video on The Yellow First Down Line

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