A Scottish company in Edinburgh, a politician in Florida and patents being filed by the Xbox 720 team are all creating new examples of augmented reality technology.
Zappar, an apparel company based in Edinburgh, sells t-shirts that “come alive” when a viewer looks at one through a mobile device, according to the Daily Record. More than a million shirts have already been purchased; the company recently signed a deal with Wal-Mart to bring their augmented reality t-shirts into US stores.
Kirk Ewing, a developer at Zappar, said “AR will merge the real world with the computer world. It sounds scary but it will become second nature and we’re the first people to be doing things with it commercially. In the future, you will be able to wear special glasses and see ads coming out of shops and get the football scores off a stranger’s chest as you walk down the street.”
Jim Ronecker, the mayor of Oldsmar, Florida, is using augmented reality to reach people, too. He recently sent out postcards to show his support for his party's candidates. The postcards show videos of the candidates through a QR code, instead of only printed text and images. Ronecker owns a print shop, in addition to his mayoral duties.
Ronecker released a statement, saying, “This technology will change, forever, the way political campaigns use printed campaign material, and could be a lifeline to the print industry in the U.S., which is seeing companies close down daily.”
The upcoming Xbox 720 may also be taking advantage of augmented reality technology. Microsoft recently filed a patent showing images being displayed on furniture and other surfaces in the gaming area. Tell Me News indicates the images may immerse the player more deeply in the gaming environment. The “116” device, referenced in the patent application, may also include both headgear and colored glasses to make the gaming area even more lifelike.
Though the Xbox 720 hasn't been officially announced yet, rumors point to a possible fall 2013 introduction.
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