Dining and defining augmented reality

October 14th, 2010 by NearInteraction

At lunch today, we noticed a pile of Delta branded sugar packets with a marker on one side and a description that said, “um jogo em Realidade Aumentada” -an augmented reality game. It began an interesting conversation, basics first, whats the use of having an augmented reality marker in your hand inside a restaurant? this means you need to have the presence of mind to carefully save the packet (after using the sugar for your after-lunch digestive) making sure you don’t fold it or crumple it, away in your handbag, and then remember to triumphantly pull it out in front of your laptop for some post-dinner pre-Facebook augmented reality evening pursuits.

Secondly, if you consider the definition of augmented reality, (via Wikipedia) “Augmented Reality (AR) is an environment where a real life is enhanced by virtual elements in real time. The purpose of AR is to enhance the information we naturally receive through our five senses, by adding superimposed, constructed virtual elements to bring complementary information and meaning that may not be possible to see by natural means.” -can one even vaguely justify that a game in which you (struggle to) roughly manipulate a horizontal (?) glass of coffee to catch flying discs could in any way enhance our environment? Why not just provide us with a caloric breakdown of sugar? or even better, the amount of kilojoules burnt by mentally computing all the steps needed to take the sugar packet back from the restaurant to the laptop at home…

And as a perfect after-lunch compliment once I arrived back at work I found this link sitting in my inbox, claiming that  “augmented reality is so passé.” showcasing a new German software that apparently utilizes, wait for it, Diminished Reality; -the practice of removing objects from the visual field, live.

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Now I can eat double portions of chocolate mousse, and claim I never indulged my sweet tooth…