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ARTools for interactive 3D

Friday, April 30th, 2010 | Article by Bob Ward

Augmented Reality (AR) – live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.


From turning yourself into a real Yugi-oh magician casting spells out of mid-air to making tanks come out of your own walls in your room. Even having your own anime character step out of your IPhone and stumble onto your physical desktop to interact with in real-time. These are some of the many ways you can play with Augmented Reality. Get ready to be mind-blown if you have never seen this technology before.

Example 1:  Man draws a box with a sharpie on his hand, shows it to his camera and WOW! A magic shield spell seems to magically be casted right from the palm of his hand! This really shows the flexibility of this technology. The fact that you can draw this registration key for your camera to see on any surface and with the AR software are able to make magic happen is simply awesome!

Example 2: This one is one of my favorite examples. It freaks me out because the registration key actually appears to slide open and let little tiny tanks come out of the wall.

AR Tools used for marketing purposes.

After watching the next two videos you can see just how effective this tool is for marketing of Automotive vehicles as well as using AR as a marketing tool for utilizing Motion Graphics in a next generation sort of way. Business cards have never been cooler!

Automotive catalog example:

Motion graphics example:

AR Tools used for games.

Japan has taken AR to an all new level, for gaming purposes and purposes of questionable moral values. This example shows the Alice (ARis….get it?) Cyber figure toolkit and how it can be used on an iPod Touch. The Alice figure is actually a an interactive AR game in which you can actually interact with the character via small paddles with registration keys attached (As seen in the second video example of this).

This example is a little questionable due to the adult entertainment nature of it, but none the less one can see just how interactive it can be.

It will be very interesting to see where this fairly new technology develops and what industries pick it up over the next few years. The advancement of standard 3D stereoscopic movie technology has been amazing in the last few years. Combine that with the power of Augmented Reality and just imagine what kind of games and movies we will be “experiencing” in the near future.

You can see way more interesting and exciting examples of what individuals are doing with this technology on their own at home by visiting Youtube and searching for Augmented Reality or ARToolKit. So check it out and if you build your own send us a link to your video!


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  • chuckb0t

    Freaking cool! Now can we get this in English?

  • Meat Puppet

    Does this export to other apps, and can you have multiple markers tracked, moving differently?

  • Bob Ward

    I am pretty sure but not positive that you can have multiple markers tracked, moving differently. Just based off of what I saw in some of the videos on youtube. However the best way to find out would be to check out the documentation or the community for the AR Tool Kit at.

  • DQvsRA

    Eeeeee, Augmented Reality – More information Here

  • Meat puppet

    I just want to be able to track a ” gray suit ” like they did in pirates 2 & 3 and also in district 9. This tech looks like the closest thing to tech used.

  • Mudd

    Usei algum desses videos em minha feira de ciências no ano passado. :D

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