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Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing

Reality made larger than life

Financial Times
19 January 2010

A growing number of such awe-inspiring demonstrations of what is labelled "augmented reality" are appearing on the internet and businesses are being encouraged to consider the potential uses of this seamless interaction of the real and the virtual.

Advertising, product design simulation and visualisation, architect's modelling and - importantly in today's market - entertainment and sophisticated computer games are among the areas expected to find uses for augmented reality.

There are already some well-known examples. In televised sport, for instance, advertisers' logos and advertisements appear on football and cricket pitches where no such logos exist in the physical world; they have been written on the pitch virtually. Outside sport, environmentalists can hold a pattern on a piece of paper in front of a videocamera and, on a screen, see it transformed into a three dimensional model of an electricity grid, for example.

A number of companies have already launched AR systems. Layar, for example, has combined the Global Positioning System (GPS) with a camera and a digital compass to create a system that enables users to identify their surroundings, extract information about the locality and combine it with their real-world view on the mobile device's screen.

Other applications have yet to find public acceptance and some could prove controversial.

Read the full article at Financial Times.