Hands On — Popular Science AR Wind Turbine

Hands On — Popular Science AR Wind Turbine
Ruben Sun
  • 22 june 2009

Metaio—the technology vendor behind the augmented reality retail experience for LEGO (“Digital Box”)—has produced an augmented reality cover for July’s issue of Popular Science. By visiting a page on Popular Science’s website with a computer equipped with a webcam and microphone, visitors are able to see a 3D wind turbine. The piece is also interactive; by blowing on a mic visitors are able to make the blades on the tiny wind turbine spin.

Hands On — Popular Science AR Wind Turbine

We’ve previously mentioned some potential usability issues with Augmented Reality, and with this execution we ran into a few hiccups as well. To begin with, for one reason or another, our webcam’s display was mirrored, along with being flipped upside-down. It was also a little tricky to get the turbine blades going. On our laptop, it wasn’t immediately obvious where the microphone was (on our particular laptop we got the best reaction blowing on the arrow keys on the bottom right corner of the keyboard). It was also somewhat difficult peeking our head out and around the paper to blowing into the keyboard. Playing with this feels a little bit like playing with the Nintendo Wii—its an activity that’s best done in a group where you can taking turns and have a good laugh at each other acting ridiculous while trying to make it work.

Visit Popular Science to give it a try for yourself.


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