Sunday, January 11, 2009

augmented reality

This technology is pretty cool, and seems to have been around for a while (see also this more recent application). I'm not sure how or what it has to do with cybertaxonomy, but it seems like it should have some application. Perhaps the technology could be used by including the "fiducial marker" along with barcodes (paper) that are attached to mounted specimens. By waving a device over a drawer of specimens one would get images (magnifications), meta-data, or some other cool or useful information. Maybe you could build a physical tree, with something like meccano or lego pieces "enhanced" with these markers, the relationships among the physical branches could be interpreted in the augmented reality, perhaps mapping character state transitions onto the physical tree, overlaying geographic distributions, or some such. This could also be a great way to get kids into museums. First, at sites (schools?) away from the museum, hand out "game" cards each with some information on an organism and an aforementioned marker. These cards could be brought to a museum that housed an augmentation system. There once "invisible" information would be revealed, for example movies, 3d representations, or pointers to where real live versions in the museum could be found.