How cool would it be if Second Life was not constrained to its own virtual world, but existed right here, as an overlay on the real world around you?
I tried it at least twice, but never really “got into” Second Life. Maybe because it is too “virtual” for me, too much disconnected from real people and real places. But what if the existing environment could be enhanced with – well… anything goes! Some examples:
- A virtual tour through an ancient Roman settlement which existed once around the 3rd age
- A virtual guide telling you about the history of a building (with audio and video)
- Time travel: see this place how it evolved over time
- Architectural development: project 3D renderings of a future building on a construction site
- Yourself with a virtual “skin”, symbolizing some character you play in a role playing game
- …and then: options to connect in the real world, connect the real you with the game character somehow
- Education: labeling items such as buildings, trees, traffic signs and attach quizzes about their meaning
- Remember the crazy Japanese gadget called Lovegetty? Oh well…
- See? really, the sky is the limit!
That was one of the dreams I had when thinking about the future possibilities of Augmented Reality applications, such as Layar, but then equipped with a real 3D rendering engine and real-time update possibilities.
It looks like this future is actually right around the corner with the announcement of Layar 3D, yesterday. Not all of this will be readily available – let alone work smooth enough on today’s mobile devices, but the start is definitely here and soon available on a handset near you.
Some videos from the announcement embedded below, be sure to check out the Layar 3D site as well!