GE’s “augmented reality” campaign

GE Augmented Reality

I know GE’s augmented reality marketing gimmick works because I’m seeing at least 35 Youtube video submissions from folks amazed by it (many more blogging / tweeting). Here’s a great video demo from DoobyBrain.

Try it with your webcam at ge.ecomagination.com/smartgrid/#/augmented_reality.
Tip: Try blowing into your webcam and see what happens…

Augmented Reality has been used in a number of places, but is particularly seen in marketing campaigns (Nissan Cube 3D Reality brochure, Volvo Ocean Race 3D Yachts), as well as video games (Sony PS3′s Eye of Judgement, and a bunch more).

I’m more interested in how it would allow us to merge both online and real-world environments in the same place, through the use of location-aware smartphones and video goggles. Applications would include the ability to recognize people and objects, help us find our way around and to help us make highly informed decisions based on our current situation. How Stuff Works has some examples.

Update 1: New York Times today features the release of Topps 3D Live baseball card. Put the card in front of a webcam and collectors will see a three-dimensional avatar of the player on the computer screen.

Update 2: Trying to figure out the magic? GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality makes use of FLARToolKit and PV3D to create a digital hologram of Smart Grid technology in your hands [via Papervision3D].