How many times have you passed an exit on the freeway only to run into an unexpected traffic jam? If you live in southern California, this probably happens a lot. But it needn't happen again if a new Android app can live up to the hype.
Dubbed 'Augmented Traffic Views,' the app makes it possible to see what traffic looks like up ahead. It does this by adding a layer of augmented reality (AR) above the G1's (or other Android device) camera view with live traffic camera images and traffic data. The AR layer shows the user any available traffic camera points, which the user can then tap to see the most current available image taken by the street cam.
Sounds pretty groovy to us, and it also sounds like an accident waiting to happen. To address the latter, the app also supports a hands-free automated predictive tracking mode that displays images from traffic cams up ahead as you drive.
So far, the app only works in Toronto, but there are plenty of U.S. areas where this could be a boon to drivers, should the developers decide to expand. In the meantime, catch a YouTube video of what you can't have right here.
Sure, we may not have the technology to create our own legitimate Jurassic Park (yet!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. And thanks to the minds over at Canon, we’re one step closer to being toe to toe with our prehistoric friends.
In an exhibit over in Chiba, Japan there will be 260 different dinosaurs to check out by means of a virtual reality viewer. A look through the viewer will put the dino about 5 meters away from you.
The exhibit will be on display from July 18th to August 1st, so if you’re hoping to make it over to Japan for a look, you best book soon.
Guaranteed to help close the deal during your next video conference (just maybe not in your favor), you can now transform your mug to that of Optimus Prime without investing in any head gear. It's all made possible through the wonders of augmented reality, with a little help from www.weareautobots.com.
The Active X applet takes over your webcam and goes to work using face and eye detection to render a 3D head of Optimus Prime around your noggin. It's just like all those other parlor tricks that shipped with your webcam's software, only prancing around as Optimus Prime is a little cooler than wearing a digital pirate patch or bobbing up and down with a fish face.
Scandinavian developer SPRX mobile has developed Layar, an augmented reality browser for 3G phones, which it claims is unprecedented. Despite the company’s we-have-the-first-AR-browser rant, Layar is in fact the world’s second AR browser. The first being Wikitude AR, which provides users with location-based Wikipedia and Qype content using the phone’s GPS, camera and compass. But Wikitude AR is certainly short on features when compared with Layar.
Marco Tempest, Illusionist and newly discovered augmented reality guru, has recently put together a video showcasing his latest act, Augmented Reality Magic 1.0.
Tempest’s implementation of augmented reality allows observers of his act to view the routine through his eyes, with the assistance of some computer animation (reportedly thanks to C++, OpenFrameworks, OpenCV, ARToolkitPlus, MacCam and “other open source goodies”). Throughout the trick he manages to bring forth a floating birthday cake, materialize a (shrunken down version of the) moon, and levitate cards in a most demonic fashion.
If you’d like to see it in action, be sure to check it out here.
Those folks over in Amsterdam are gonna write you a letter, gonna write you a book (anyone catch the song reference?), but before that they’re going to go ahead and augment your reality. And this time, they’re going to do it with a swiveling monitor instead of some hardcore brownies.
The staff over at the Allard Pierson Museum recently decided to recruit Fraunhofer IGD, a company that specializes in virtual and augmented reality to create their MovableScreen. The MovableScreen is a swiveling monitor (currently, they’re employing the services of an Apple iMac) that’s primary use is to pan through annotated pieces of art and reconstructed landscapes.
Currently the screen is being used to display a virtual reconstruction of Satricum and an annotated version of an 1855 photograph of Forum Romanum.
For more information you can check out the museum’s website here, and you can find a video of the MovableScreen in action here.
The gang launches into this week's edition of the No BS podcast by immersing themselves into webcam-powered augmented reality. We also report on Seagate's SATA 6Gb/s interface test (it's fast!) and share our thoughts about HP's Firebird hybrid PC. On the rant of the week, Gordon lets loose on people who use facebook as an outlet to complain about their jobs, and explains why he thinks Spock was also full of rage. We also take a few listener questions, making a gaming mouse recommendation and discus the browser war.
We'll be taking a short break from podcasting as various members of the staff go on vacations, but will be back in three weeks for our 100th episode. Stay tuned!
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.