July 13, 2007 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Artag: Augmented reality on your desktop. via Digital Urban, with a HowTo.
posted by signal (11 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Wonderful! I have been thinking about setting up the Agumented Reality Toolkit on one my machines for quite a while. It looks like Artag is a good incentive to get started sooner rather than later.
posted by honest knave at 7:45 AM on July 13, 2007

No way. No WAY. Can it really make out those squares in a fuzzy webcam image from N feet? NO WAY!
posted by DU at 7:57 AM on July 13, 2007

This looks interesting -- I want to play. However, obtaining the SDK is a bit cumbersome and I really wish there was a convenient way to hook it up to Processing.
posted by Kikkoman at 8:35 AM on July 13, 2007

Sigh. DU: ARToolkit is one of the nicer bits of academic research out there, especially because it has been made available to the community as open source. If you have doubts about what it can do, check out the Projects page on the main site.

ART has been designed for rather expensive head-mounted displays, but this looks like a simple way to set up test systems.
posted by honest knave at 8:37 AM on July 13, 2007

The system worked terrifically patched through the video goggles - I was able to write code and test models while walking around, and the ability to superimpose satellite and archival imagery was great fun. I saw my running processes as milling crowds of pedestrians and monsters, and my admin tasks became a series of hidden levels and boss fights.

I didn't take the goggles off for two weeks, so I was wearing them when the Event occurred, and finally removed them to find myself in an empty, abandoned city. If anyone else still has Signal and reads this post - please respond. Is anyone still physical?
posted by freebird at 8:39 AM on July 13, 2007 [5 favorites]

I wasn't be skeptical, I was being enthusiastic. Well, and a little skeptical. But open-mindedly.

After looking at it for a while, it's a little hard to imagine a use for this on my desktop. (Maybe as a way to do away with UI controls for a simple viewing app.) As you say, head-mounted displays would be better. But if you don't mind looking really dorky, someone could probably make something unwieldy and cumbersome on a reasonable budget.
posted by DU at 8:41 AM on July 13, 2007

Supersweet, thanks!
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:31 AM on July 13, 2007

One step toward the technological scenario described in Vinge's Rainbow's End, where augmented reality becomes the standard view for many people.
posted by dammitjim at 10:49 AM on July 13, 2007

I saw something like this a few years ago (it may even be a different branch of the same project) that seemed inspired, but never seemed to go anywhere. Instead a webcam and a computer, the recognition/rendering software was installed on a camera-equipped PDA. The camera read the data embedded in the little printed squares and display it as an overlay on top of the direct feed from the camera. When I saw it the project was still in alpha, and has likely been dropped since the PDA marked has tanked. Basic idea, embedded info with a reader/decoder, struck me as genius.
posted by lekvar at 1:23 PM on July 13, 2007

this is amazing - thank you so much for posting :-)
posted by sleep_walker at 8:40 AM on July 15, 2007

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