Interesting article on how the specialist hardware is being matched and beaten by off the shelf parts. Great news for museums and exhibits looking for an edge!
A well laid out overview of this little rhyme that means a lot more: at the moment, mobile devices rely on the concept of Place: meaning ‘location aware’ apps – where are you relative to the nearest retauraunt, bank machine, theatre?
Another aspect that is only now becoming possible to analyze is Space – the mobile device+app understanding where you are now not just as a pushpin, but why you are there.
Adding the ‘why’ to the ‘where’ requires better geolocation, better inference of the user’s plans and goals – in short, smarter software. Augmented reality using GPS and compass is only the start of this, Natural Feature detection and other techniques that allow the mobile device to recognize scenes and objects is the next step.
SURF is a fast algorithm that recognizes distinct features in a photo or video frame that can be relocated in subsequent frames or images of the same scene, even if the scene has changed in rotation, size, and some perspective and lighting. It is at the heart of PhotoSynth and many other applications, and now an AS3 library implementing SURF can be found here:
Reading The Design of Everyday Things, is a great trip; I recommend it because it leads down the path of why design works, and maybe the summary answer is: because it is human.
What this means, practically, is that we don’t have to think about interfacing with it, we just use it; the thinner the manual, the better the design.
Museum of London has released their AR app for mobile that overlays historical photos over sites throughout London. The effect is a photo archive put into context. This can also be worked into the Google Street view interface so that the User can tour the sites without being there. A great way to put time and place in context:
“So where do we budget for this project? We can put a lot of text in here and maybe get some videos edited if there is room. And as for that mini-game that the kids want? Well that would be nice if we knew where it fits in….”
That is a common discussion and one that could be had with a few copies of this in view:
(one possible) Hierarchy of Content [png image poster]
Of course this is just one way of organizing your thought process, and that process should be informed by the audience, venue, context, and many other variables. However, in general terms, this is the sort of scale against which many digital interactive projects are measured for their complexity and impact as tools of learning and engagement with an audience.