I few weeks ago while watching the SYFY channel, I noticed the terminology of “augmented reality” being put to use as two mechanical boxers faced off in a ring while the human controllers were off on the sideline with a “piece of paper” on their backs recognized by a digital camera and fed into a computer capturing body movements. I’ve been aware of motion capture techniques for many years, especially for computer animation and film. Today I found a post on one of my favorite forums PushPullBar referring to a plug-in for SketchUp that would transform a digital computer model onto a piece of paper and capture my movement of the paper back into a composite video signal of me moving the paper with the computer model on it. I tried the plug-in made by Inglobe Technologies and it worked!
This technology has been around for a few years (I believe), however seeing it work on my desk is nothing short of amazing. I find it difficult not to use the F-word in expressing how easy and accurate this process works. 1. download the plug-in (trial version) 2. install the plug-in 3. run SketchUp 4. load a model 5. initiate the plug-in from the SU plug-in menu 6. select a cam source from a menu 7. AUGMENTED REALITY !!!!!!!!!
I also made this short video to illustrate the process and demonstrate the real time usability aspects. Now I’m beginning to consider how to implement this technology into client presentations and maybe take it one step future. Maybe in another 10 years we will not only be able to spin, pan and zoom but also create architecture in this type of virtual environment. Please leave a note with your thoughts and first impressions.