The web no longer lives on the web only. Now with the help of your webcam or a compass-enabled smart phone, the web and the information within can be projected onto your world. Augmented reality may be one of the latest buzz words, but this emerging technology has been entering mainstream quickly though the development of smart phone apps (ie. iPhone, Android) and ingenious ad campaigns. What is augmented reality? The real-world example is the artificial glow around the soccer ball or hockey puck to enrich TV sport viewing. But, in short, augmented reality (AR) uses devices, like phones or web cams, to overlay virtual elements onto your real-world environment, thus creating a "mixed reality." There seem to be many interesting possibilities for libraries too. Imagine aiming your camera phones at a row of books and "seeing" the LC subject headings hover above them? Since most AR applications haven't left the lab yet, I've included a video "demo" for AR apps presented here. It seems that the world of AR is quickly expanding; so many more recent tools may have already come into existence. But this technology is certainly something to keep an eye (real or computer-aided) on in the future.
"Web Reviews: Augmented Reality,"
Sci-Tech News: Vol. 64
, Article 10.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/scitechnews/vol64/iss1/10