Augmented Reality used to be in the realms of high-end research labs, limited to virtual reality headsets and motion sensors. As with all technology it filters down over time to the home user, yet despite interesting advancements Augmented Reality has yet to go main stream.
It is however remarkable how easy it is to implement with just a standard webcam and some open source software. Over the coming weeks we will be taking a closer look at creating your own Augmented Reality, specifically for visualising urban areas via augmented maps.
The demo below illustrates the level of output possible:
Of note is how Augmented Reality almost made the consumer breakthrough via the sadly defunct Gizmondo handheld console:
With the introduction of the camera for the Playstation Portable it is possible that the concept will again see the light of day on a console.
Simple, low cost Agumented Reality has direct applications for both the teaching of geography in the classroom as well as higher end planning/architecture descion making and depending on how the next week goes we should have some more info and a tutorial online shortly.
Thanks go to to Chris Hinton at Demontfort University who demonstrated the concept at a meeting on Virtual Leicester and who has been writing his own code to enhance the software.
For more background information on the processes behind Augmented Reality see ‘A City-Planning System based on Augmented Reality with a Tangible Interface by Hirokazu Kato, Keihachiro Tachibana, Masaaki Tanabe, Takeaki Nakajima and Yumiko Fukuda of Osaka University, Hiroshima City University, Knack Images Production Center and Hiroshima Institute of Technology (Pdf Document).