Audi's augmented reality 2010 calendarEnlarge Photo
When you were young, you might've had a children's book that came with special reading glasses -- paper frames and cellophane lenses, like the kind you get at 3D movies. Without those specs, the book's illustrations looked like meaningless blobs of color, but put on the shades, and the pages burst with hidden messages and funny doodles. Earlier this year, Audi took that same idea and fused it to an iPhone, transforming a seemingly everyday calendar into a high-tech work of art.
The way its works is pretty simple. First, Audi developed the print version of the calendar, comprised of 12 empty roadscapes. Then, engineers developed an iPhone app to interact with the calendar. Using object-recognition software -- much like the kind deployed in Google Goggles -- programmers set the app to recognize the 12 images and to place the appropriate Audi vehicle in each, complete with sound and movement. As the video below demonstrates, users simply open the app, point their handset's camera at the calendar, and voila, a car fills up the empty space on the page.
This is a pretty nifty trick for Audi, and a very interesting way to debut a new ride like the A1. We look forward to seeing more complex applications down the line -- and to getting an advance copy of the 2011 calendar later this year (hint, hint).