Augmented Reality: The Future of Digital Interaction

Business cards have been with us since the 17th Century, and in all that time they haven’t changed a great deal – the size of the format and complexity of the graphic design may be different from those found in the court of Louis XIV, but the small printed card is a classic that hasn’t needed changing in over 300 years.

However, there is now a new and exciting alternative, with significant implications for not only the humble business card but for all forms of printed advertising and promotion.

Inition, a 3D graphics company based in the UK and Australia appears to be leading the way in so-called ‘augmented reality’ simulations. The technology, known as MagicSymbol, uses a normal TV display connected to a PC and camera, which recognises a pattern printed on a piece of card, similar to a barcode, and displays a 3D simulation over the top in real time. The software is so simple that the Georgia Tech Augmented Environments Lab has created an augmented reality pet application for the iPhone:

Now, a flyer, business card or leaflet is no longer bound by the printed word. A simple pattern is all that’s needed, and when placed in front of the camera and screen can impart images, audio and even video.

Interesting stuff, I think you’ll agree!



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