Entertainment, Graphics, Software Programs

Augmented Reality comes to X Games Periodical

Red Bull, the energy drink that "gives you wings" has just given augmented reality to the readers of its Red Bulletin magazine. Their Issue 25 for October, 2009 incorporates the hottest technology. Reggie Bush, NFL running back for the Saints football team, stands statically on the cover ? until you point your copy at a webcam.

Then Reggie audibly and visually begins to "give you a taste of New Orleans, Red Bull style." On an inside page, Ryan Sheckler shows off his championship skateboarding prowess on the streets of Cuba. Nine pages of the magazine that are identified with a bull?s eye come alive with animation, film, and audio. A demo can be seen on YouTube.

Bull's eye - a augmented reality project from Red BullImagination Computer Services GesmbH, a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology, provided the technology, and Red Bull provided the venue. What could be more exciting than magazine articles covering X-type sports which come to life in your hand. The instructions to access the augmented reality additions to the magazine are simple:

  1. Turn on your computer?s webcam or any other webcam.
  2. Hold the magazine in front of the camera.
  3. Enjoy Red Bulletin Print 2.0.

Readers also enjoy the Red Bull drink which is produced in Austria. The concoction landed its founders, Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya in 260th place on Forbes list of the world?s richest people. Over three billion cans were sold in more than 130 countries in 2006. The company sponsors extreme sports such as snowboarding, cliff diving, skateboarding, and freestyle motocross.

Speed of any kind falls under the Red Bull umbrella. Mark Webber recently won the Brazilian Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing and it?s all covered in Red Bulletin, the magazine which first came out in Austria in late 2007, followed by publication in the United Kingdom. It is distributed exclusively through partnered newspapers in England, Ireland, Germany and Austria.

You can also download the new augmented reality version from the YouTube website. Imagination Computer Services that produced the augmented reality version of the Red Bulletin offers virtual reality services intended to communicate knowledge, improve marketing, and assist industry. The company creates interactive multimedia and virtual reality using interactive 3D cinema for hands-on training, sales, design, and just plain enjoyment. Imagination covers the entire spectrum ? conception, planning, content, production and installation of the entire hardware/software system. Imagination partners with the likes of the Institute for Pattern Recognition & Image Processing in Vienna, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, and Space Application Services in Brussels.

Al Hoota caves - Augmented Reality projectOne of Imagination?s projects was the Al Hoota Cave visualization project in Oman. Al Hoota Cave is a large cave system which was opened to the public in 2006. Imagination worked with the National History Museum in Vienna using a concept from Verdandi, a contractor who works on the architecture, content, and graphic design for multimedia applications.

At five interactive kiosks, visitors can see continental plates move over time, watch stalagmites grow, and watch how the Hajar mountains came to be. Since there is a small possibility of spelunking becoming an X-game, perhaps the cave will appear in augmented reality on the pages of the Red Bulletin.