Monday, October 30, 2006

Augmented Reality

While watching Monday Night Football with my family, I realize how much I like the yellow first down marker that is digitally overlaid over the video feed. I wonder what technology makes that happen and what do you call that?

They do it by combing an image of the real environment with an image that is virtually created but intended to give the user more perceptive understanding of the real image. You call it Augmented Reality and J. Vallino has written about it extensively during his PhD research. Anytime you combine virtual reality with true reality you get this augmentation, a combination of truth with embelishments.

A good example of this is when a MRI image of your knee is annotated by the radiologist directly onto the image. The doctor might circle the area of interest and indicate their diagnosis. The surgeon may than take a look at the MRI image with and without the annotation. The surgeon may add their own annotation to indicate the angle at which they intend to reattach an injured ligament. The intention of augmenting the image is to provide more perceptive detail that improves the performance or understanding by all of those who view the augmented image, not only can you see the injury, but you can see the surgical repair intention. It will be much easier for the next person to recognize the injury and suggested treatment than just looking at the original MRI image alone.

Find ways to augment your reality!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Interactive Web TV

Have you played along with a game that is being televised? My teenage boys like to watch the Game Show Network (GSN)and I was intrigued by the variety of interactive play formats.

My son played along with Playmania with his cell phone. He texted a message to a number displayed on the screen and then waited for the gameshow to call him back. I wasn't too impressed at 0.99 cents a text and no one called him back to play.

The other interactive formats have more appeal and no cost. The two games I tried to play along with were Lingo and Chain Reaction. They both were modifications to the games on screen, but you are solving the puzzles televised on screen at the same time. The response time was quite good, but you could only use your mouse as an input device for the words games. It would have been a lot more efficient for me to type my 5 letter responses for LINGO.

I am always pleased to see the gaming industry push the envelope and taking advantage of new technology techniques. It gives us a chance to dream of how we might apply it to productivity gains in non-entertainment products.