Many of you may have already seen the press releases and various posts about ARSights, an augmented reality app that lets you look at Google Earth models on your desktop. ARSights is from the Italian company Inglobe, which has developed ARMedia as a platform for augmented reality functionality. Some of our former colleagues here were working on some AR projects, so we thought we’d give ARSights a quick whirl and see what’s it all about. ARSights requires a few things to work: a web cam, Google Earth’s browser plugin, one of ARSight’s 3D models from Google Earth (right now it doesn’t work with any model), a printed copy of the marker target, and the ARSights application. There are instructions on the ARSights site to get everything set up.
Once we got everything set up, we downloaded the Parthenon model and gave it a try. It seems to work pretty well, and you can look on your desktop webcam view and see the model as if it is on the physical target in front of you. You can spin the model and zoom in and out by manipulating the target marker.
ARSights is a nice app as an introduction to the concepts of augmented reality, and it’s pretty nifty. I can especially see it being useful in educational collaborative types of settings. It’s only one of a number of projects working on this type of technology, though, as we saw a very similar application during the Labs demos at Autodesk University back in December (We shot some video of that demo and will be posting it soon on VerySpatial TV).