Technology

Augmented reality conference kicks off in Santa Clara

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In the old days, there was just regular reality. Then, came virtual reality. Now, those two worlds are colliding to form something called "augmented reality," the subject of a conference that began Wednesday in Santa Clara.

The screen on your mobile device is becoming a window into an alternate universe. Take a look through the camera of say, a Sony PS Vita, add some 3D graphics and suddenly, characters come to life. "It's really turning the camera of your mobile device into an eye, so your camera is able to recognize certain objects in the environment," Qualcomm spokesman Jay Wright said.

It's a dream come true for little kids and for big kids. "They came to us and said, 'We'd like to fulfill every boy's fantasy and put x-ray specs in our winter catalog," said Marxent Labs CTO Barry Besecker. Now, you don't have to wait for the swimsuit issue anymore. "Either people are really excited or they're really upset because they wonder why it doesn't work on real people," he said.

Augmented reality is not just about augmenting your environment. It can also be about augmenting yourself. Software that lets you see how you'd look with a new hairstyle can also help visualize fantasy characters. Hollywood is taking note with high-tech glasses. "A director is actually using it to put actors or actresses in 3D on set, you know, the day before filming," Epson spokesman Eric Mizufuka explained. But you might just use it to buy new lamps and test them out against the decor that you already have or pose for a picture with someone, like a character out of a movie.

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Tags:
sony, santa clara, video game, movies, technology, jonathan bloom
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