AR Holiday Season and true Interaction

Probably we will get some more eCards using AR during the holiday season, showing the cutting edge style of different companies. But, hey! I dig it a lot and love to see more of it to see what the creative agency people accomplish with the limited papervision + flash augmented reality engine. Just today I got a card, leading me into a neat little toy store I wanted to share with you:

I was intrigued about what will happen in AR once I’ve found the key in the toy store world with the sleeping old man. It reminds me of The Incredible Machine toying around with stuff and triggering physics. I don’t want to spoil, but I have to admit the AR part is nothing too crazy. But have fun!

Besides, I stumbled upon two nice AR videos (via development memo for ourselves) that caught me. One is showing a rocket and a can of fuel, where you have to fill up the rocket by moving the can, eventually letting it hit the sky, the other shows us twisting flexible DNA, attached to two markers. Both have one great thing in common: they go beyond “displaying 3D on a glyph”. They actually let you interact and make clever use of multiple markers. This is, what I’d love to see more! We are still stuck with the annoying open-pdf-print-marker-hold-it-in-front-of-camera, but here it truly integrates a (somehow) natural interaction with virtual objects, that is lacking soo many AR demos. (Okay, this is a bit unfair, there have been more than one, esp. in the area of AR music generation, twisting markers for pitches or sounds – but it’s still not too many on the web.)

Detecting two or more markers with ARToolkit and alike is a no-brainer and the collision/proximity detection is not consuming any CPU power if we are talking about bounding boxes or spheres. These simple add-ons add so much to your AR demo! Please, let us see more in Flash of it! :-)

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