Augmented reality

EYeka  just released a white paper on the the Future of Shopping.The company conducted interviews with retail experts and also asked its community of “creative consumers” to imagine shopping in 2020.

5 Consumer -Generated Trends That Are Shaping Tomorrow’s Shopping have been identified :

Responsible shopping: consumers want a socially and environmentally responsible retail ecosystem

Augmented shopping: consumers value rich and interactive shopping experiences

Informed shopping: consumers look for relevant, personal information about brands and products

Facilitated shopping: consumers expect technology to help them choose

Experience shopping: consumers hope that shopping will become more entertaining


That’s right — not even CES can stop the endless wave of Kinect hacks. The latest, and one of the more impressive to date, is the so-called “Magic Mirror” developed by Tobias Blum from the Technical University of Munich, which bridges augmented reality with x-ray vision (of sorts). Of course, the “of sorts” is that it doesn’t actually peer through your body to reveal your skeleton (yet), but instead maps a random skeleton from a CT scan onto your frame to create a real-time freakout!!

Check out the video ..

Intel were showing in Digital Signage World their new concept Augment Reality Digital Signage. It uses a combination of real time analytics, augmented reality and comprehensive touchscreen technology to allow users to engage with the display to get more from their shopping experience. Every shopping center should get one now.

This thing  works in two parts. Firstly there’s the LCD side, which shows off a selection of paid advertisements. The LCD will cycle through the ads, or if a user sees something they like, they can use the touchscreen to scroll through all the ads on offer to see the one they want.

The more exciting part of this technology is the augmented reality side, which uses a holographic-like display to show real time information on a clear touchscreen, which allows two simultaneous users to interact with the display, getting real time information and deals, which can then be sent to a mobile phone for when you get to the checkout.

The proof of concept unit on display was using a projector playing onto a mirror to create the touchscreen on a clear sheet of glass, although Intel have said that their are OEMs currently developing clear display panels that will do away with the need for a discreet projector.

In addition to the ability to browse by products and search, there’s also a camera in the unit which uses face detection technology for analytics, which will determine whether or not people using the screen are male or female and an approximate demographic, and can then use that information for targeting advertisers.

According to Jose Avalos, Digital Signage director at Intel, we’re roughly 2-3 years away from seeing these kinds of displays pop up in shopping centers, but they are definitely coming. Which means we’re closer to a full Minority Report-type screen than ever before.

Another good use of Microsoft Surface appears on the Internet.  Mark Micire at UMass Lowell create this software as part of his PhD research.

The multitouch UI puts Microsoft Surface  to good use, with gestures and contextual commands that make operating an unruly group of robots look easy, and a console-inspired touch control setup for operating a single bot from a first person perspective as well.

There are a couple videos, the first is Mike operating an army of virtual robots, using Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio to simulate his soldiers and environment, but the second shows his first person UI guiding a real robot through a maze.

I want one for my room to impress my friends please…

Media agency Edvertise has used large LED displays located in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands to highlight the issues surrounding public apathy to violence against paramedics and other public service employees. A powerful piece of augmented reality drops passers-by into a seemingly live video of an attack as they simply stand and stare.

The billboard has been equipped with a video camera, which films members of the public on the opposite side of the street. Then the video is layered with some footage of an assault on an ambulance crew, pre-recorded on a blue screen in a studio. The result is that viewers of the signage are placed unwittingly into a situation and asked by the messaging to react more appropriately. Disturbing and genuinely powerful stuff.

This video from Edvertise shows how it was created as well as some footage of members of the public looking at the signs.