View Poll Results: What do you think about ARSights?

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  • It is not Interesting

    0 0%
  • It is Useful

    1 16.67%
  • It is Incredible

    3 50.00%
  • It is Interesting

    4 66.67%
  • It is not Useful

    1 16.67%
  • It is Fascinating

    5 83.33%
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Thread: ARSights - Augmented Reality + Google Earth

  1. #1
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    Default ARSights - Augmented Reality + Google Earth

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum. My first post concerns a new project we have been working on at Inglobe Technolgies. It concerns a new web-based tool that will allow users to visualize Google Earth 3D models using Augmented Reality.
    The project name is "ARSights" after our Augmented Reality platform, ARmedia.

    Simply stated, Augemented Reality is a new technology which improves visualization capabilities by superimposing real-time computer graphics to the real space where users do actually work and live.

    To my knowledge, ARSights is the first experiment which links together web-based technologies, Google Earth and Augmented Reality. Essentially, the ARsights website (http://www.arsights.com) employes the Google Earth plugin for browsers in order to make it easy for people to download 3d models from a special dynamic layer we have created out of Google 3d Warehouse and visualize them using Augmented Reality directly as a part of their environment.
    In other words, through ARSights, Google Earth 3D models can be visualized out of the digital workspace directly on users’ desktop, by connecting a simple webcam and by printing a suitable code.

    As anticipated, we have created a network link that we are going to update regularly which you can find here

    http://www.arsights.com/downkmz.php

    Take a look to this video from our Youtube Channel to get an idea.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDPgsHghp6M

    I hope to receive your feedback on this.
    Regards

    Graziano

    PS Can I upload the kmz inside a thread?
    Last edited by Appletom; 02-19-2009 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Corrected YouTube Link

  2. #2
    Licensed to Ban araT's Avatar
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    Default

    This is awesome graziano! I'm looking forward to having a better play with it over the weekend!

    You can add .kmz files to posts by adding attachments, below the window where you type a post (and below the first set of submit reply buttons) there's the "additional options" section, go there, click manage attachments and upload your .kmz - That said, we'd much rather you upload stuff into our file database if it will be available long-term, the attachments are for silly temporary placemarks like when you have a question. If you are looking to upload your original file here, you may as well post a link to the file in the database, like so: http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile31599/ARSights.htm

  3. #3

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    There is no video.

    "This video has been removed by the user."

    ??

  4. #4
    Moderator Emeritus Appletom's Avatar
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    Here's the video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDPgsHghp6M

    This looks really cool, you can use a webcam to put 3D models on your desk or in your hand.

  5. #5
    Moderator Emeritus Appletom's Avatar
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    I went to the ARSights YouTube channel and found another video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQ-YGgVUT0

    I think I'm going to go out and buy a webcam.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jrod's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I downloaded the software and .kml file for it and so far i'm loving this tool. I would like to be able find the software for it, so that I could use it for more things than just GE. But so far this is pretty cool.

  7. #7
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    Jrod,

    we have a released the ARPlugin for SketchUp last December. It will allow you to make AR models out of your own sketchup models.
    For more information just take a look to ARplugin page

    http://www.inglobetechnologies.com/e...in_su/info.php

  8. #8
    Senior Member tpstigers's Avatar
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    Spent some time playing around with this last night. I even struck upon the idea of using poster-printing software to create a 3-foot square marker to put on the floor. I have to say it was pretty cool to have some large virtual buildings dominating my office last night.

    However, today I'm pretty much done with this. The product has a reasonably large 'wow' factor, but not much else. Frankly, I don't see any real use for this thing. When it comes right down to it, all it really does is give you the ability to see a 3D model in your monitor. Which you can already do in Google Earth. And you don't need to install another application or have a webcam.

    I guess I'm just not seeing the point.
    I have an existential map; it has 'you are here' written all over it.

  9. #9
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    Default ARSights demonstration purpose

    tpstingers,

    thank you for commenting. Every feedback is welcome and I feel your contribution is very valuable to this discussion.

    Actually the application has a large "wow" effect. But I think that its benefits do not limit themselves to this.

    First, a very important feature of the application concerns the way you interact with 3D models. The idea is that by naturally interacting with 3D models, this wow effect will automatically translate in a much more effective learning. This means essentially that it will be easier to acquire information about 3d objects by natural interaction (with a much more freedom of movement) than by moving a mouse. I think it takes 3D just a step further.

    Second, this is a demonstrative first step of the project that will evolve as to include functionalities which will go beyond this basic use of the system.

    - Sure it will well have a role for example in WebMarketing Settings....think about watching a lamp right in the place where it should be instead of seeing it only as a small picture on a monitor with which you can scarcely interact....

    - It will have Educational use where manual interaction with 3d model will allow teachers to spend less time in showing the features of the object at hand, and keep students' attention much higher...

    - the most important use i can forsee is that future upgrades (with GPS and markerless AR) will have a role in real time visualization of representations of information which is hidden in the real space where you are navigating (think for example about an archeological tour where you will enjoy the beauties of the past, or watching the impact of pollution in a given place using Google Earth, GPS and Augmented Reality)

    I must remark that this first step of ARSights has the goal to disseminate the basic use of AR technology to a large basin of users on a free base, and to raise consciousness about some posibilities linked to this incredible technology, as it will really "augment" our ability to acquire information in the real world while at the same time enjoying.

    For this reason, we are seeking visionary partners who will help us taking this first step further.

    Thank you again
    Graziano

  10. #10
    Moderator Emeritus Appletom's Avatar
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    tpstigers - I can see great applications for this doing product demos. Like you said, the wow factor is off the charts - can you imagine asking two people at your trade show to hold a large marker then put your company's car/boat/skyscraper/machine/whatever on the marker on a monitor that is visible to all the people walking by your booth?

    Check out this video from ARmedia - Someone reading a book about the solar system in front of their monitor sees 3D planets as they turn the page.

    Here's another video showing 3D objects in motion interacting with each other as the person turns the pages of the book.

    All in all I'm sure there are lot's of applications that can use this technology, it's just that nobody has thought of them yet.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jrod's Avatar
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    I agree, I could see alot of applicatons that this could be used for. Education being one of the best, I think.

    I had also thought about creating a large square on my floor, that way I could make it as tall as I am and could use it to demonstrate certain features in a building. Being able to go inside a building virtually like this would be nice as well. In some of the videos I seen the pattern on the papers are different in some of them and want to know does the pattern on the paper have something to do with the object that is displayed?

  12. #12

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    I was just thinking about a cool thing here. Imagine your in a car but car windows are actually monitor screens, outside the car on top of each window is a camera recording and shoving what would be normally seen through the window on those monitors. So when your inside a car and your looking outside the window you would be looking on monitor screens but you can put 3d objects and all sorts of crazy things.

    This would be so cool on some kind of touring... O man... Did anyone watched Jurassic Park with those kids inside the car thats moving on tracks? Watching dinosaurs from a moving car would become kinda reality.

    I hope someone understod what im talking about here

  13. #13
    Senior Member tpstigers's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll bite -

    First off, of course it's educational. Everything is. But that, in and of itself, isn't enough. What I want to know is how this tool is educational in ways that can't easily be achieved elsewhere. Again - all this app really does is show a 3D object on your monitor. The only thing that sets it apart from the myriad of other apps that show you a 3D object on your monitor is that it shows you said object in the same room you're currently sitting in. Granted, you can manipulate said object, but in a limited fashion and the interface is clumsy and non-intuitive. There are slews of other apps out there that allow for cleaner, more intuitive and more affective manipulation of 3D objects. Many of them are free, and the smarter ones can be embedded (to be fair, it looks as though these folks are looking in this direction). You're looking for 'educational'? Let's talk about an online encyclopedia entry, complete with all the added content the internet allows (like Wikipedia does), for - say - the Tower of London. Now embed the Google Earth API on that page with the appropriate kmz. Now you have your 3D model, easily and intuitively manipulated, right there on the page you were reading. In much the same way that you can spend a few minutes examining the pictures in your old 25-volume Britannica, you can spend some time checking out the Tower of London in all it's glory without leaving the page you were reading.

    "But," you say, "Wouldn't it be even more cool if you were seeing and manipulating the Tower of London on your own Virtual Desk?"

    It might. But then, how would it be more 'educational' than seeing and manipulating the Tower of London in a Virtual reproduction of its actual surroundings? Or its historical surroundings (which - I hope you know - Google Earth already allows for).

    I once had a girlfriend who told me I was a 'tool collector'. "You don't buy tools because you need them," she said, "You buy them because they're cool, then you try to come up with uses for them." She was, of course, 100% correct, and this app reminds me of my attitude toward tools. It strikes me as something that was developed simply because it could be done (and because it's cool), and now the company that developed it is looking for ways to use it (hopefully ways that will generate revenue). Personally, I think they're making a mistake if they're trying to market it beyond the 'cool' factor, but who am I?

    I'm not saying that this app isn't a good one, nor am I saying that it won't - eventually - have its uses. I'm just saying that - right now - it doesn't offer me anything that I can't find in a better form elsewhere (except for the aforementioned 'put-the-Eiffel-Tower-on-my-desk' effect).

    So my advice to AR Media/Inglobe is to stop trying to justify your product, and instead simply try to sell it. It's cool. And cool sells.


    - Terry -
    Last edited by Appletom; 02-22-2009 at 12:45 PM.
    I have an existential map; it has 'you are here' written all over it.

  14. #14
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    Default Reply to Terry

    Hi Terry,
    I'm happy to hear from you again and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make some basic features of ARSights Project more clear.

    Whereas the "coolness" of the whole thing is undisputed, I understand that there is an issue concerning its "usefulness". Of course, I concede that the "wow effect" as a matter of fact obfuscates other potential effects, and that at this early stage it is the dominant aspect. On the other hand, I'm strongly convinced that AR, and ARSights, has an enormous POTENTIAL in many applicative domains.

    I'm sorry if I give the idea of wanting to justify something, but I'm really talking about POTENTIAL uses based on my understanding of the technology as far as I have been familiarized with it both in my professional and research activity. Of course it is not my intention to "sell" something for features it does not have. For this reason I'll try to make some key points clear.

    First, it should be clear that the main feature of the Project at this first stage essentially is its DEMONSTRATIVE purpose, according to which we have deliberatively tried to bring the AR technology to the knowledge of as many users as possible, on a free base (mostly to users who had never heard about this). Therefore the main feature of the project at this early stage is not its educational potential. It will be (I hope soon) in another stage, but not right now.

    Second, there is a basic tenet of yours that I think does not have sufficient support evidence. I'm referring to this

    The only thing that sets it apart from the myriad of other apps that show you a 3D object on your monitor is that it shows you said object in the same room you're currently sitting in. Granted, you can manipulate said object, but in a limited fashion and the interface is clumsy and non-intuitive. There are slews of other apps out there that allow for cleaner, more intuitive and more affective manipulation of 3D objects
    With respect to this I have to remark that there is a growing research literature showing how Augmented Reality helps students to achieve learning tasks more effectively than other methods. This amounts to say that learning curves at certain tasks are better when AR is used to illustrate concepts. I have done a little investigation on these issues in the past. What we have been finding is that AR interfaces make learning more effective and time lasting than others. Anyway, I do not want to go into details here (just don't hesitate to write me a private message if you would like to continue the discussion from a more technical point of view).
    This essentially suggests that AR interfaces, being based on natural interactions, look more natural and simple than mouse-based interfaces, for example. Of course, left aside configuration issues (webcam, computer and so on), it takes a bit to familiarize with it the first time, but users take more time in familiarizing with mouse-based interfaces than with AR interfaces.

    It should also be clear that I'm not saying here that other ways of manipulating 3D objects are pointless. On the contrary I strongly believe that AR as well as other ways of doing 3D interaction can be complementary and that jointly they will maximize the output in many tasks. There is a lot of great work made by though folks indeed

    Summing up I strongly believe AR has a revolutionary potential in many applicative domains, as it will change the way we perform many tasks. I think that a more convincing answer to all the questions of principle we have been raising here will be mostly given by scientific research and by the future development of the Project. Anyway I would not go into theoretical and experimental issues here, just write me privately if you like to continue along these lines.
    Thank you again

    Graziano

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