I have a project using technology like back in Portugal a few years ago by Ydreams for a Kids Toy store chain called Imaginarium. The problem they were trying to address had to do with the fact that most of the stores were really small, and they needed to be able to allow their customers to see objects larger than the space they had available on store for display. Their solution? Augmented Reality! Ydreams conceive a set of small pads, each with a representation of a different object that once shown to a camera, would allow the user to see/interact with the large object on screen, nothing fancy, just worked!
Today I came across one use of such technology with the only difference that apparently it has it the web main stream! By making use or your own webcamera and a printed piece of paper, you might just experience that same effect of having in your hands something that simply isn’t there! Point your browsers to the GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality website , print the card and try it out, or just watch the video, I guarantee you that’s pretty much real!
Apparently and according to the GE website, it’s done using a PaperVision plugin called FLARToolKit, which is actually a port of ARToolKit, a software library for building Augmented Reality applications.