The Sensorama. Patented by Morton Heilig 1961
The year is 1961 and Morton Heilig has just patented his amazing invention. With the birth of the Sensorama arguably came the birth of Augmented Reality.
So, what did the Sensorama do?
The Sensorama aimed to try and create a fully immersive viewing experience. The film was three-dimensional and in colour for a start (a thing we probably take for granted these days). But, that’s not really the interesting part. The interesting part was the way it gave viewers the feeling of motion, sounds, smells and the feeling of wind on one’s face. Pretty impressive by even today’s standards.
Why was it important?
This kind of invention showed just how revolutionary Augmented Reality could be. It really was ahead of its time, even if the quality of the film wasn’t HD!
Now, I’ve talked briefly about the Samsung Gear VR before in a previous post (‘Not strictly AR gear’). But, I sumbled across this video which I think gives a better perspective of how this type of technology does function in the real world.
The video shows how the Samsung Gear VR could be used in everyday situations and highlights some interesting points such as the vulnerability that it puts the user in. I mean, if I was playing with this on a train platform I think I would be scared of having my bag snatched or just missing the train because I wasn’t aware of it arriving. It would be like reading a book but way more extreme.
This isn’t strictly AR but it is very closely linked in the VR (Virtual Reality) community. This is the year that Virtual Reality headgear is going to be available in peoples homes (if you have about £500 spare…but, you get the point). It is no longer an abstract concept that you just see in The Sims but something that, very soon, you could own and experience in your own house.
Every year brings with it new tech and new ways to experience Augmented Reality. This year is no exception with the introduction of technology such as the ODG Smart Glasses. Click on the video below to take a look:
Although, like with Google Glass, I am slightly terrified by the idea of wearing this kind of technology all the time (think of all the normal things you would miss!). This kind of technology has a lot of potential.
‘Kirkgate: The Victorian Street’ app follows a fairly similar concept to the Streetmuseum app down in London. Created by ‘York Castle Museum’ the app overlays Victorian photographs over modern shots of the city (If you look at point number 3, I think you’ll find it strangely topical).
Screenshot of the map used to navigate the web version of the app
Screenshot from the Streetmuseum app. Copyright The Telegraph
Another app from London (why does London get all the good apps? It’s not like it’s the capital or anything!).
Just a quick video to explain the concept. Let me know if you like the video and whether you would like to see more videos like this in the future.
Does an application have to be a ‘heritage application’ in order for it to be useful to the heritage sector? Does it need to tell you historical information in order for it to be used within heritage?
I am going to introduce you to one of my favourite apps that isn’t necessarily heritage focussed. The best bit, you don’t have to be in York to check this one out. It’s global, so there are no excuses to not have a go.
This is the most common form that you probably think of when you think of Augmented Reality. Using a tablet/mobile device, you hold it up, look at the screen and information is placed on top of the live feed. From the Guinness World Records 2015 book (where things appear out of the page) to the applications that I’ve been studying such as York Churches. There are many different ways to augment sight.