Five for Friday – Living in an Augmented Reality

Five or so links from around the web about new and interesting applications of technology.

Today’s links are about Augmented Reality, where the physical and the digital collide in new and interesting ways.

  1. Amazon Sumerian, a platform for building AR, VR and 3D apps, is now open to all (TechCrunch)
    First is the announcement that Amazon Sumerian is now available to everyone. Sumerian is a platform and toolkit developed by AWS for developers to build “mixed reality” apps. It was first launched in November last year in private beta but now it’s open to everyone to create their now mixed-reality app. Some of the key features is the online Sumerian Editor and the Sumerian ‘Hosts’ – avatars you can use within your Sumerian scenes. It’s an AWS product so, while you’re not charged to use Sumerian to design and edit your AR and VR applications, there are “charges related to the storage used for the 3D assets in Sumerian and the volume of traffic generated by your scene during editing and when viewing your published scene”.
  2. Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums (Wired)
    The Jackson Pollock gallery, on the 5th floor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, has been taken over by guerrilla artists for the “Hello, we’re from the internet” virtual exhibition. Viewing the Pollack collection via the MoMAR Gallery app reveals new and remixed artworks for visitors to iinteract with. The software used for the MoMAR exhibition is open source and there’s more info available from the MoMar website
  3. Say Nice Things to These Insufferably Cute Plants to Make Them Grow (Motherboard)
    Garden Friends is a cute/scary new AR app experiment created by Nicole He and Eran Hilleli using ARCore, Dialogflow and Unity. In the game, you can grow a garden of personalised trees and flowers using your voice. Be nice to the “lonely gardener” or else your garden won’t grow. It’s not available to download right now but you can view more of the game at Garden Friends by Eran Hillel, Nicole He | Experiments with Google
  4. Google Maps is getting augmented reality directions and recommendation features (The Verge)
    For those of use with a questionable sense of direction it’s particularly excited to hear that Google Maps is getting some AR upgrades. These include a new feature that will overlay walking directions on top of the real world view to help you navigate.
  5. Ubiquity6 lets your friends visit your augmented reality (MIT Technology Review)
    We’re looking forward to the launch of the Ubiquity app (expected sometime in the Summer), a new app that will let you interact with augmented reality objects in different locations via your phone – a more social augmented reality experience.

Honourable mentions go to this Augmented Reality glossary, Augmented Reality from A to Z — know your Metas from your Moverios developed by Andy O’Sullivan.

And you can also experience some AR infused space travel with Explore InSight, NASA’s Latest Mission to Mars, part of the art of storytelling experiment by the NY times.