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My closest friends know how much of an evangelist I am interactivity in schools and the positive impact and potential it can have on our children and their education. I’ve had a number of children’s interactive projects over the years (the most recent being KideoPlayer, a family-friendly interactive YouTube filter) but nothing I’ve come across recently has the potential of this…
Meet The Hidden Park, an iphone-guided scavenger hunt that uncovers trolls, fairies, tree genies, and other fantastic creatures skulking around actual landmarks at your local park. You read that right. It’s awesome. And my boys and I are doing it this weekend. :)
Convincing kids to spend an afternoon away from the PlayStation is a tough sell with the promise of xBox and Wii sitting in your living room. (Nature? Booooooringi!) Use your children’s video-game obsession to lure them outdoors where the best games always come to life.
The ‘augmented reality game‘ can be played in a growing number of public spaces across the globe, including New York’s Central Park, Boston Common, London’s Kensington Park, and Ueno Park in Tokyo. Tapping into your iPhone’s GPS, the app leads families on a quest to help the Magical Wildlife Protection Association prove the existence of magical beings in the park, which is in danger of being bulldozed by money-grubbing developers. (But imagine the themes, and geographies we could bring to this idea? This is just the tip of the iceberg). Does anyone have an land they want to donate? :) I’ll make the app!
The map the game supplies is also enchanted; as you move past specific landmarks, it throws out riddles and puzzles to clue you in on where to go next. The cool factor comes into play when your kids use the iPhone’s built-in camera to document their discoveries. Just like magic, the park’s mystical denizens make their presence known.
The following is an homage to an awesome post I found over at Rubbishcorp. Go read it. Or read it here. Or whatever. Either way, its the best compilation of the affects of Augmented Reality on your fancy pants mobile device. It’s about to become as big a deal as Ron Burgundy…
Augmented Reality technology isn’t new, but it is taking on a whole new meaning in your mobile device. As positioning and recognition technology strengthens it will find a much more mass audience. Devices sporting geotagging, triangulation, recognition, wireless and compass technology have raised the virtual/physical mobile experience bar as they all work seemlessly together (behind the scenes) to now serve everyone with masses of information layered over the ‘real’ world.
No longer will you have to haplessly unfold a map at a museum, search endlessly for the semolina in a supermarket or not know exactly how much further to go before you reach your a bar, train, resturant, etc.
Your face is even free game! This TAT demo shows your social network(s) profile, media, personal data etc. all hovering around your noggin’ when someone points an at you.
Add to that ViPR technology which has been around for a while and can recognize actual objects (via a connected database) and best not forge RFID that registers objects within close proximity and again can pull data from a connected online source.
Time people spend with mobile continues to rise and compete with other sources as a direct result the increasing usefulness of the technology in making connections in the ‘physical’ space. And the raft of Augmented Reality applications that make use of a devices enhanced positioning and recognition capabilities are not limited to phones - increasingly gaming devices and MP3 players use the technology.
Screen-based experiences are increasingly overwhelming our experience of the physical world making, further blurring the lines and making the virtual a very “real” part of our lives. Social networking has already transformed our relationships and Augmented Reality looks to be the thing that does the same for shopping, traveling, culture, drinking, language translation and pretty much everything else.
Like the MP3 player and camera before it location and recognition technology will soon be ubiqutous on mobile devices. The influence that has on our lives cannot be underestimated, it will be massive.
So you show up at your favorite Cheesecake Factory ready to stuff your fat face full of fried foccacia, but the line is around the friggin’ block. You have two choices: Sit and wait. Forever. (Whilst holding the dumbest invention in all the land - the buzzing beer coaster.) Or head to the next spot on your list. Maybe their line won’t suck. But let’s face it you really wanted some fucking Cheesecake.
Now you have a new option (are you listening Cheesecake Factory?). Your mobile number. Yep. Your mobile number. Vis-a-vis the fine folks at Qless.
QLess is looking to provide a more logical system that uses your mobile phone. You can check into a line by sending a txt message or making a phone call, without even the need for someone to physically check you in. Then, you’ll simply receive a txt message or phone call when your turn in line has come up.
What does all that mean, fatboy? (Geez I’m angry today). Now you can go and walk the avenue with your hot date until your txt arrives. When it does, txt the hottie back at the Cheesecake Factory and let her know you’re 10 min away. (She’ll bump you 10 min in line) est voila! your seat is waiting. Neat, right? You might have even walked off some of that double order of corn fritters you’re about to order because you can’t help yourself every time you go. Too much info? :)
but wait, there’s more
In addition to making things more convenient for customers, QLess offers establishments that use it a number of marketing and research features. For example, you can send out coupons to customers that are waiting in line, and utilize analytics to see how your establishment is trending in terms of return customers or average wait time.
While restaurants are the most logical place for something like QLess to take hold, the company is also targeting kinkos, post offices, and the DMV, and pretty much anywhere you want to shoot your face off because “those fucking morons behind the counter can’t seem to get their shit toegether…”
As a customer, there’s not much more to see other than a txt message and a high five from your amazed friends, but as a business that might want to consider implementing its service, QLess’ website offers some more details on the features and how to get setup.
So what are you waiting for (ahem Cheesecake Factory, ahem…) get your asses over to Qless.com and make me a sandwich!
Holy shit balls, finally! Get out your pretty mobile and txt “ajello” to 50500 (no quotes) to see what I mean.
BAM! Introducing Contxts, a new service from ID345, a Denver-based idea company. It’s quite simple: you program what you want your business card to say on the website, and then tell people to text your user ID to 50500, or you can send it to them. Could it be any easier than that?
Several companies have attempted to solve the problem of paper business cards for some time, but Contxts takes the cake IMHO. You can even use the service without ever visiting the website. Just text “JOIN firstname lastname email” to 50500 and then when anyone texts your number to 50500, they will get your name and email address.