Corporate identity and branding require exceptional talent. Something as seemingly simple as a logo defines an image to project to the world and can make or break a company. Moving Brands, the award-winning London- and Tokyo-based branding agency, has now upped the ante for dynamic design and moved it into digital age. Recognizing the need to respond in real time to rapidly evolving forms of connection, communication, and commerce, they have created a “living” cover for a small book that uses augmented reality technology to bring their latest views to life:
The book Living Identity is nothing less than a manifesto that calls for a fresh understanding of the role of brands in a moving world. It requires no special technology other than a web cam and a downloaded version of the cover for their book. Hold the downloaded cover up to your web cam, and you will see Moving Brands’ latest content displayed on it.
Here’s a link to the book’s cover if you’d like to try it yourself: http://www.movingbrands.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/MB_LivingIdentityCover.pdf
Jointly developed with the high-end graphics software company, Renderheads, the book’s cover is also used to browse and scroll the dynamic content. Rotating the cover selects between Moving Brands’ Flickr, blog, Vimeo and Twitter feeds. Moving the book to the far left or right of your computer screen scrolls backwards or forwards through whichever feed you are viewing. You can also “knock” the book left or right to navigate through the feeds. You can scroll long sections of text by tilting the book backwards or forwards.
Recognizing that print-based media is out of date by the time it is published, Moving Brands and Renderheads have created a low-cost (dare I say “no cost” if you already have a web cam on your computer) augmented reality overlay that keeps readers up-to-date, in Twitter time.
Living Identity is nothing less than a manifesto that calls for a fresh understanding of the role of brands in a moving world.
This is very much in keeping with the fluid interfaces work of Pattie Maes at MIT’s Media Lab (see the recent h+ interview with Pattie, “SixthSense” and the Magic of Fluid Interfaces: An Interview with Pattie Maes of MIT Media Lab in Resources in Resources). Pattie’s “SixSense” technology –- a form of wearable Internet with a web cam, pocket projector, and mirror –- uses simple off-the-shelf, low-cost components, and a clever design. It brings the digital world into the physical one and lets us humans use natural hand motions to interact with information.
The Augmented Reality (AR) marketplace is only starting to move out of academia and into the mainstream –- and not surprisingly it’s happening through the marketing genius of Steve Jobs and the growing library of innovative applications such as Layar, Wikitude, junaio, and acrossair on Apple’s iPhone. (See the h+ article Overlaying Reality with Your Cell Phone.)
While there have been multiple attempts to bring AR to consumers in the past, this is the first year that consumer products have been successfully introduced. It’s telling that the recent International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2009) featured mobile AR. Christine Perey, an ISMAR 2009 organizer, estimates Mobile AR revenue in 2009 will hit the $10 million mark. From near $0 to $10 million in a year – this is clearly a market to watch.
The best student paper award at ISMAR 2009 went to a team led by Nate Hagbi and Oriel Bergig from the Visual Media Lab at Ben Gurion University. Their work is transforming the AR world through in-place 3D sketching. With 3D sketching, you can sketch mechanical experiments and watch them simulated in 3D:
They also have an application that recognizes shapes and renders them in 3D (reportedly soon to be available on the iPhone):
Minority Report portrayed a world of AR fluid interfaces controlled by gestures on walls that purvey advertisements that scan you as you walk by and then directly advertise products that you might want, visually and audibly. This seems like a fairly realistic future scenario. From living books to 3D shape rendering, AR is rapidly maturing with innovative, low-cost applications.