Microsoft’s long-awaited body-sensing technology, Project Natal, got a new name last week at the E3 expo in Los Angeles. Kinect, as it is now called, is a set-top add-on for the Xbox 360 console that allows gamers to become the controller: move your arm and your on-screen character moves the same way; jump and it jumps.
This is another amazing product of the Augmented Reality revolution. Multi touch displays are turning up in just about every category of electronic product these days due simply to the fact that this technology provides an easy to understand, flexible and hands on interface that makes one wonder what took it so long? Check out this short vid of a multi touch dj interface that may or may not replace the tried and true Technics 1200’s as the DJ favourite.
OK, I saw a press release for these guys http://layar.com then read up their site and pretty much lost my mind and had to contact them in a slightly tongue in cheek / overtired email at 4:30am (10:30am ish Amsterdam) going off about how cool and revolutionary a ‘product/service’ they have come up with and how they -must- allow me to work with them and likening their bits to the order of magnitude changes when we moved from BBS’s to the eventually graphical internet. (among other rantings). I was slightly taken aback when I got a reply within 10mins saying we should skype chat soon. Wow.. Here was a group of people (Well the one woman and co-founder to whom I spoke anyway, Thanks Claire) who as far as I’m concerned are changing the world as we know it.
Basically it’s an AR browser that’s had a wide adoption in europe and asia and of course the netherlands. It is based on geolocation data and they allow people to create ‘layars/layers’ (of reality) where one could create something like ‘find a variety store in hong kong’ or similar such searches for ones’ own area. So the domain reg process starts..(although i usually swear off regging domains sober) I may have to make an exceprion (may not).
So I guess i’m off to find a crackhead to steal me a nice shiny new Android device.. or maybe just kijiji..
They have a limited number of dev licenses at the moment and one can sign up for one here http://layar.com/api/ There is also a teleconf/gotomeeting tonight 9/3/2009 at 7pm CEST geared to developers that I am going to try and catch. Anyway, thats it for now..;)
Now this is cool. Reliance on HMD’s and other ‘VR’ glasses for Augmented Reality (AR) would become unnecessary. While I wait for Vuzix to release their Wrap 920 and gear, this is an exciting idea to say the least.