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LordTBT
November 27th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Penguin has partnered with Ogmento, a company who develops Augmented Reality technology, and they're publishing a book, which when held up to a webcam, does all sorts of nifty things on your computer screen.

While the technology is pretty cool, I fail to see how it really has anything to do with reading, which is what I kinda thought books were for. :rolleyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wPO-iymPUQ&feature=player_embedded

Bladeswift
November 28th, 2009, 02:54 AM
The features shown in the video look more like a gimmick, but I see this having a lot more potential. Interactive children's books would be the easiest application. Or how about footnotes that elaborate on the subject in detail when scanned? (Really useful for nonfiction or historical fiction). Two dimensional maps that create a three-dimensional topographical view? Translate a foreign book into your native language on screen?

LordTBT
November 28th, 2009, 08:53 PM
The features shown in the video look more like a gimmick, but I see this having a lot more potential. Interactive children's books would be the easiest application. Or how about footnotes that elaborate on the subject in detail when scanned? (Really useful for nonfiction or historical fiction). Two dimensional maps that create a three-dimensional topographical view? Translate a foreign book into your native language on screen?

I concur that the 2d -> 3d map would be really cool, however it seems you're forgetting that in terms of text applications, you still have to be holding the thing up to a webcam, and stare at the screen, thus I don't think translations would be so great. Plus the publisher loses money on selling that translation of the book. As you said, it's gimmicky, and I think it detracts from reading. You don't need a computer/webcam to make books fun, your imagination is supposed to do that.

Bladeswift
November 28th, 2009, 09:33 PM
I concur that the 2d -> 3d map would be really cool, however it seems you're forgetting that in terms of text applications, you still have to be holding the thing up to a webcam, and stare at the screen, thus I don't think translations would be so great. Plus the publisher loses money on selling that translation of the book. As you said, it's gimmicky, and I think it detracts from reading. You don't need a computer/webcam to make books fun, your imagination is supposed to do that.
I was thinking along the lines of this technology becoming more advanced down the line, to such a point where all a reader would need to do is "scan it" once and then place the book back down. As it is now, I can't see the program being used for much more than gimmicks and interactive children's books. Fun to think about.

mushyZ
November 30th, 2009, 10:39 AM
People won't be able to only do this with a computer webcam. Soon, we would be able to do this with our own eyes.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsens e_technology.html

Folgrimeo
November 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Maybe it can be used to show 3D color models of the pictures in the book. But yeah, I can't see it being used for any practical purpose other than the book equivalent of DVD extras. Keeping the book propped up looks tiring (and having to use a bookmark so you don't lose your place -- although with the DVD extras idea, it's not like you're reading the book anyway), so either people will put their webcams on a surface or buy a special book-stand.

And if the book's meant to be close enough to do something fancy with the text, I'd prefer it to just generate text for a webpage rather than changing the text seen in the video. I can't keep a book still enough for the text to be readable without blurring. It would be tiring to read text that keeps slightly moving around.

But if it generated text on a webpage or showed a picture to avoid having to superimpose the stuff on a constantly-moving book, that would ruin the idea of having augmented reality.

I believe the direction it's most likely to go, if it does operate on text, is to superimpose related internet searches and advertisements to whatever text is displayed most prominently. Show it the word "Paris" and you'll see floating pictures of the Eiffel Tower, Paris Hilton, and an Expedia.com flight to Paris. If you see the name of an upcoming movie, you'll see a video teaser trailer for it right there. I can't imagine augmented reality being much else than showing related stuff and context to whatever you're looking at, which is why internet searches seem the obvious choice.

What I would like to see is that as you're reading a book, the visions in your head get recorded to some device which you've identified yourself to. Then whenever you want, you can replay what was recorded (using some form of security to identify yourself) to see the book in video action. The security is to prevent anyone from just using the video to instantly have a theater movie for free. That way there can be a million personalized versions of a Redwall Movie. How is that augmented reality? ...it's not, but as long as we're having pictures flying in front of us, it kind of seems related.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to that cool video where a camera shows a real object or mini obstacle course you've set up, then shows a CGI car drive around your course in real time? It might be cool for computer simulations to run on whatever the camera's looking at. Show a blueprint and then see a vision of what the thing will look like when built. Maybe run simulations on the proposed finished product (the one deduced from the blueprint), such as whether a bridge will withstand high winds and other disasters, all before beginning construction? ...or wait, computers already do that don't they... never mind.

LordTBT
November 30th, 2009, 03:45 PM
People won't be able to only do this with a computer webcam. Soon, we would be able to do this with our own eyes.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsens e_technology.html

This has actually been around for a while. And to think everyone is going to walk around wearing this junk is hilarious. This is just conceptual technology, this is not "the future." :rolleyes:

LordTBT
December 7th, 2009, 07:26 PM
I have since learned of some awesome applications of augmented reality that have nothing to do with webcams, and mainly mobile phones.

Layar:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64_16K2e08

Despite this video in the Netherlands, it is currently available in the US for iPhones and Android phones. One "layar" lets you see if people around you are tweeting, another interacts with Yelp to find restaurants. It truly is impressive.

And that is what I would say is good use of the technology. Not books.

mushyZ
December 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM
This has actually been around for a while. And to think everyone is going to walk around wearing this junk is hilarious. This is just conceptual technology, this is not "the future." :rolleyes:

It's certainly funny to see all the stuff needed for the presentation, but I don't think the idea should be dismissed as 'hilarious'. if this technology merged with the concept of a brain-computer interface, we could basically remove the need to sit our butts down at a chair for hours at a monitor.