Browsing Breakthrough: Augmented Reality

Extracted 11JAN2012 from

With a simple smartphone camera and Aurasma's free app (iPhone and Android), you can get video layered onto real world images.

Aurasma starts as an app that runs on an iPhone (it also runs on Android; ironically, it doesn't run on webOS). Point the phone camera at a real-world image or object and Aurasma understands the context of the image and pulls up an accompanying video from its database of over 500,000 videos.

For example, a movie advertisement in a newspaper might elicit a movie trailer; a piece of art might conjure a video of the artist talking about it. Point it at a product, and a self-help video might emerge (Aurasma showed a video demonstrating how to connect an HP ProCurve router). Point the camera at a building (or an image of a building) and get a visual tour. Users can also upload their own content from the application--images tagged to video.

...this is a free app, and while many apps are free, it doesn't seem as if that fits Autonomy's (or HP's, for that matter) business practice. A spokeswoman responded that the company believes it has transformative technology and wants to unleash the application on as many people as possible.

[location-based advertising is an obvious revenue model but closer to the billboards or signage in real-world settings in which the (potential) consumer is embedded... without turning our real-world environments into ugly spaces cluttered with visual garbage]