Pokémon GO AR Game Could Start Social & Environmental Revolution

 Augmented Reality  Comments Off on Pokémon GO AR Game Could Start Social & Environmental Revolution
Aug 042016


Since the release of the augmented reality game Pokemon Go weeks ago, it has received positive feedback for its surprising positive effects on mental and physical health. Apart from getting kids, who are hospitalized, to engage in social and physical activities, the game also motivates people to explore their cities and consequently boost local tourism as tour agencies and independent tour guides take advantage of the chance to conduct Pokemon Go city tours.

Although this is basically an AR game that literally turns people into digital zombies as they walk the streets looking for Pokemon characters, this phenomenon has also encouraged people to socialize more not only in meetings or conventions held in different states but also in parks in New York City and Georgetown, to name a few.

Social Awareness and Environmental Impact

But if one will look beyond just the mental and physical effects of the game, there is a lot of potential seen in Pokemon Go that gives it environmental and social relevance. A perfect example is the idea of an animal shelter in Indiana. The Muncie Animal Shelter came up with the idea of letting Pokemon GO players walk dogs which are also up for adoption while enjoying the location-dependent AR game. Not only was the invitation well-received, with more than 250 volunteers showing up at the shelter but also according to Melissa Blair, the assistant superintendent at the animal shelter, four dogs were adopted after the experience, including a black Labrador which found a new family. Labeled “Pokemon Dogs”, this brilliant idea became international news.

Other Possible Scenarios

Pokemon GO is a potential medium to spread environmental and social awareness to people in a global scale, given its popularity among digital gamers of all ages. There is no doubt that one of the most fascinating features of this game is the augmented reality platform. However, what makes it more unique and attention-grabbing is its location dependence. This very same popular aspect of the game is can motivate gamers to contribute to the upkeep of Mother Earth.

Players of Pokemon GO spend hours and even weeks looking for Pokemon characters and hatching eggs without getting bored. As opposed to other augmented reality games that require players to hover their devices on a piece of paper or a specific product packaging for a visual sequence to be enjoyed, Pokemon Go uses the real surroundings the players are in. This platform allows players to walk for miles around the cities they live in and takes them to places they seldom have the chance to visit at any given day. Having said that, the game can be instrumental to reaching places like illegal trash dumping sites, crime locations and other important places that are overlooked and in need of attention from authorities.

In the future, perhaps, Pokemon GO manufacturers will add features that will enable players to contact government agencies responsible for repairs and maintenance to ensure public safety like covering open manholes or fixing damaged slabs. Or Pokemon GO players will be able to take images of emergency situations and send them to specific government agencies by just pressing a button.

With all these possibilities, the AR game experience will someday be taken to yet another level, one that has significance not only in terms of technological advancement but also in environmental and social awareness.





Disney Coloring Book App Gives Twist to Augmented Reality

 Augmented Reality  Comments Off on Disney Coloring Book App Gives Twist to Augmented Reality
Oct 062015

Children can now enjoy fun activities like solving puzzles and coloring their favorite Disney characters with the Disney Color and Play app. The people behind the Disney Research Project are taking the art of coloring to another level by developing an app that will allow users, young and old to color using Augmented Reality (AR).

Coloring books are not only creative tools to develop art skills in children but are also great stress busters for adults. And with this augmented reality coloring book app from Disney, children from all ages are introduced to a whole new world of art and technological advancement.

Basically, the user simply has to place the tablet with the app over the image on the coloring book he or she is working on and the result will be a three-dimensional model of the image. What makes it different from the iOS mobile app Crayola Color Alive, launched in 2014, is that it lets you see the 3D image while you render the color. The app from Crayola, on the other hand, allows users to see the output only after the work is done.

Another twist worth looking forward to will be the textured 3D version of the image being colored. That is, whatever texture is derived from the coloring book, the app will create the same output on screen. Moreover, the object is animated and can be seen from different angles, allowing the user to see the 2D image transform into real-time.

With the added dimension on the screen output, you can have an idea how the image looks like from different perspectives. This is made possible with what is known as the virtual spring system.


How does it work?

With the application of augmented reality in this latest project of Disney’s creative team, the app that is being developed is able to detect and track the original 2D image on paper and convert it to a three-dimensional image in real time. As you color the image, you can also see the development of your work on your tablet, but it will feel like magic with the animated 3D image on the screen.

Augmented reality has been present for a while now and has been used in different applications. It has enhanced user-experience with the integration of contextual information with what is seen on a camera feed. Also, it has made gaming experience more realistic as it allows images to come alive.

This technology has been used in business applications as well. However, Disney was able to come up with something that stands out among other creations introduced by other companies, an app that does not take away the joy of using traditional coloring books but rather enhances user-experience with the use of technology.

With the number of activities that can be enjoyed with smart devices and gadgets, researchers from Disney say that the use of traditional coloring books might not as exciting as they used to be. But by being to turn 2D coloring book images into animated 3D models, this will not be a concern anymore.






Sep 102012

A company called TTP (The Technology Partnership) is competing head on with the Google Project Glass. TTP has developed an augmented reality pair of glasses that shows information while wearing them and yet no one but you knows this is happening.

According to The Guardian, “Developed as a prototype by TTP (The Technology Partnership), a technology development company, the glasses incorporate a tiny projector in one arm of the spectacles. The picture is then reflected from the side into the centre of the lenses, which are etched with a reflective pattern that then beams the image into the eye.

That means the image is directly incorporated into what the wearer see when looking directly ahead … the ‘killer app’ for an augmented reality system might be one that would work when you look under your car bonnet, “so rather than seeing a big block, you see it all clearly labeled to tell you what part is what. Alternatively … surgeons might find it useful, not to show them what they’re looking at, because it’s never actually that clear, but to tell them what’s happening to the patient’s life signs: – to the blood oxygenation when I press here, what happens to the pulse. If you can display that directly into their field of vision, that’s really useful.”

This, of course, is only available now in the TTP research lab. But, expect some bigger players to jump on this technology soon.