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It's Augment Your Reality Friday!
March 6, 2009 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Robert Cooper, creative director at 360° Digital Influence Ogilvy PR demonstrates GE’s Smart Grid Augmented Reality campaign "which consists of a website, a piece of paper, and blowing your mind all over your keyboard. (via The Daily What and Andrew Sullivan)
posted by ericb (37 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh, someone actually read Spook Country.
posted by The Whelk at 2:01 PM on March 6, 2009


Cool. It's OCR linked to preprogrammed 3D animation, yes?
posted by dersins at 2:06 PM on March 6, 2009


We are balanced on a cusp. On one side, a magic future, on the other, retrenchment collapse and doom. Will our best minds go to Wall Street to build arcane greed pits for the already obscenely rich, or to R&D labs to create a future for all of us? Which will we as a nation value?
posted by orthogonality at 2:12 PM on March 6, 2009


This video has been removed by the user.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:12 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't catch the video before it was taken down, but was it anything like this?
posted by jimmy at 2:15 PM on March 6, 2009


Well, that was fast. The video is flying across the web right now. I'll e-mail the mods and close this up, since the FPP becomes tedious without the Ogilvy video demo.
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on March 6, 2009


We are balanced on a cusp. On one side, a magic future, on the other, retrenchment collapse and doom. Will our best minds go to Wall Street to build arcane greed pits for the already obscenely rich, or to R&D labs to create a future for all of us? Which will we as a nation value?
posted by orthogonality at 5:12 PM on March 6


All I know is that this is one step away from downloading ice cream. I don't know if that's the future thing or the obscene pit thing, but either way, I gots to gets me a webcam.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:17 PM on March 6, 2009


Without the video I have no idea what this is about. I am so lost as to what's cool (not the first time). 3 of your 4 links go to the video, and on the Smart Grid page their video won't play! I'm still going to print the PDF and try to see what this does.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:19 PM on March 6, 2009


It's "I Found a Corporate Advertisement on the Internet" Friday.
posted by micradigitalis at 2:19 PM on March 6, 2009


According to some blog posts, Ogilvy didn't have anything to do with this campaign. I bet their posting the video and its quick spread across the web this afternoon forced someone to request that they remove it. Too bad. It's cool stuff.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on March 6, 2009


this is one step away from downloading ice cream.

No, this is one step away from downloading ice cream.

(For those with no experience with 3D printers, they are fucking magic machines. When we first got one at the studio I work in and I watched it print out a tiny crescent wrench with moving parts and working gears, I realized that the future was well and truly here.)
posted by dersins at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2009


Was it the same as this video?
posted by Houstonian at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2009


Was it the same as this video?

No, but it essentially showed the same thing.
posted by ericb at 2:25 PM on March 6, 2009


Every day I recieve wildly creative videos e mailed to me.
Im a cartoonist. Im thrilled to see the kind of stuff people are coming up with. Museum art is so dead. The commercials,home movies,and video theatre are so exciting and relevant.
I 'm going to the MAGIC FUTURE
posted by Palmerpoodles at 2:25 PM on March 6, 2009


Sweet, pretty soon somebody in Japan will make something naughty and weird out of this! Oh, too late.
posted by jeffkramer at 2:35 PM on March 6, 2009


Okay -- found some other videos taken by users of the GE digital hologram effect - 1 , 2.
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on March 6, 2009


Museum art is so dead. The commercials,home movies,and video theatre are so exciting and relevant.
I 'm going to the MAGIC FUTURE


I just finished a Phillip K Dick book where, off hand, he described that in the future, the highest and most advanced form of art is advertisement. Quite a visionary that fellow. Sadly, he seems to indicate that the future is no more magical than right now, except if you're lucky you can become the Quizmaster.
posted by fuq at 2:55 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yum!!! Geishas in mouse costumes. My favorite alternative reality.
posted by Xurando at 2:57 PM on March 6, 2009


For extra points, I have no printer so I mailed the PDF to my iPhone and used that.
posted by nicwolff at 3:01 PM on March 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


That is pretty cool. And not even too technically difficult, on a conceptual level at least; the hard parts are all well-understood computer vision and graphics problems. I guess for widespread use you'd need to use something more information-dense, like a QR-code, as the visual marker.

(The car-maintenance thing linked from the geisha video is more the kind of industrial AR use I've seen proposed before— I remember going to a conference ten years ago where someone at Boeing was pushing this kind of thing for aircraft maintenance.)
posted by hattifattener at 3:18 PM on March 6, 2009


I'm really, really curious how they're doing this. I've seen apps like this before that locate the position and orientation of a marker (or 'fiducial' to use the jargon) and replace that with some computer generated image. However, I was really expecting this to be a java webstart app, or more likely some silverlight / .NET business. Is there anyone there with insight into how this is done? All the processing is client side, and it seems cross platform (works on my Mac) so... Can you just straight up write decent computer vision algorithms in Actionscript now?
posted by heathkit at 3:40 PM on March 6, 2009


Here's another example of the same technology. I've got a cookie for the first person who finds me a good open source Flash augmented reality library.
posted by heathkit at 3:45 PM on March 6, 2009


This gets my cool blessing now.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:09 PM on March 6, 2009


Pretty cool, but I'm personally far more interested in augmented reality glasses/camera phones. You know, the kind of thing that transforms the world that you inhabit. Yes, I know, this is essentially the same thing, but still.... I'm hoping for software that can translate foreign languages and put subtitled word balloons over their heads. Maybe one day everyone will wear augmented reality goggles all the time, and we won't need real clothes anymore. Except for the whole bus seat problem...
posted by Edgewise at 4:16 PM on March 6, 2009


Beat me to it: i was going to post this too, but instead of the GE link I was going to point to the Actionscript 3 code library for doing it yourself.
posted by ook at 4:18 PM on March 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


heathkit: FLARtoolkit, etc, based on artoolkit seems to be an open-source toolkit for doing this. If you look at it I'd be curious to hear whether the entire vision thing is done in actionscript or whether Adobe provides some image analysis primitives or what.
posted by hattifattener at 4:18 PM on March 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's "I Found a Corporate Advertisement on the Internet" Friday.

Um, no. If you are paying attention, it's about an early example of augmented reality that is available to the "average computer user" beyond the "yellow first down marker" and "sponsor logos behind home plate," etc. experienced by "average television viewers."
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on March 6, 2009


BTW -- Nissan is providing a 3-D brochure for their new Cube (they ship you a disk).

Volvo allows you to build a 3-D "in the palm of your hand" racing yacht using the same technology.
posted by ericb at 4:28 PM on March 6, 2009


heathkit: FLARtoolkit, etc, based on artoolkit seems to be an open-source toolkit for doing this. If you look at it I'd be curious to hear whether the entire vision thing is done in actionscript or whether Adobe provides some image analysis primitives or what.

Flash has had image analysis primitives since flash 8 (the BitmapData object), although until recently the speed of the interpreted code limited you the native-accelerated filters like convolutionfilter. However, that's enough to implement an edge detector, one of the first steps in an AR application.

Actionscript 3, available in flash 9, JITs to x86 and other architectures, so you can implement DSP type things with reasonable efficiency.

In flash 10, Adobe says they have GPU acceleration for some operations (as far as I can tell they don't say what they are though) if the flash movie has a bit set saying whether it should use GPU acceleration if available. There is also support for Adobe's pixel bender toolkit, which is closely related to OpenGL's GLSL. Pixel bender shaders are auto-parallelized across multiple CPU cores' vector units, but Adobe says that the flash 10 implementation does not use the GPU to accelerate it (yet).

To give you an idea of performance, I'm doing live image processing in flash 10 at 640x480, 30 fps, on a core 2 duo laptop with 2-3 frames of latency. Chrome says the flash plugin is using less than 10% of the CPU when I run my computer vision application on it.
posted by thalakan at 4:53 PM on March 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


So what happens if the projected graphic consists of one or more versions of the "Solar Panel Marker" itself? Would it be augmented reality tripified like a home video camera pointing at the tv that's displaying what the camera sees? I really hope so.
posted by treepour at 7:16 PM on March 6, 2009


So what happens if the projected graphic consists of one or more versions of the "Solar Panel Marker" itself? Would it be augmented reality tripified like a home video camera pointing at the tv that's displaying what the camera sees? I really hope so.

That I even entertained this thought for a moment shows that this medium is pretty powerful.
posted by treepour at 7:17 PM on March 6, 2009


I'm going to save energy by staying in the house and farting with advertising content all day!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:05 PM on March 6, 2009


Now I'm sad that I don't have a webcam.
posted by dejah420 at 8:08 PM on March 6, 2009


I'm sad I don't have a printer, dejah.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:50 PM on March 6, 2009


Works just fine if you trace it off the screen. Have to fill it pretty black though.
posted by Iteki at 2:00 AM on March 7, 2009


Also, 50 percent size is enough, and fits nicely onto the palm of your hand...
posted by Iteki at 2:16 AM on March 7, 2009


http://www.t-immersion.com/ - French company. They've been doing it for a while.
posted by bz at 6:59 PM on March 7, 2009


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