Augmented reality is a technique that is often applied to travel and navigation applications on smartphones and tablets. In these apps, the idea is to point the camera to a landmark, and get information about the object on the screen. A prototype augmented reality application by Convivial Studio turns this concept completely around: a printed book is enhanced by digital animation.
Convivial Studio has developed a clever concept where a printed book (with some extra features that help the application) can display animation. The animation is produced by a computer, and projected onto a book page by a LCD projector. The really amazing trick in the application is that you can move the book, but the animation stays (and plays) on its designated position on the page.
View the short video that shows the augmented reality application in action:
How was it done? The pages of the book have marks that are recognized by the Kinect device. The Kinect is usually connected to a Xbox game machine, but since the Kinect is a motion detection, tracking and recognition device, it is used in this augmented reality app to track movement of the book and pages.
Once the computer connected to the Kinect gets information that a page with specific marks has been detected, it can project the animation via the projector to the page.
This application is a prototype, and not practical for real use, but it is not in too distant future when, for instance, 3D goggles should be able to do the same thing.