New Tools Update: Breakthrough in Augmented Reality Tech

Those of you who are familiar with augmented reality have probably noticed the specific high-contrast markers needed for many AR apps to work - for example, this AR business card uses a marker so that the camera knows where the card is in space and how it is oriented. Apps like AcrossAir and TwitAround don't need this, since they are relying on location information generated in other ways, but most applications that use a camera to recognize an external object and overlay information have needed these markers - until now.

As @augReality reports, "Georg Klein of Oxford University has been working on a system called PTAM - Parallel Tracking and Mapping. This is software which allows for real time tracking of a video stream, and they’ve just gotten the system running on an iPhone. Translation: no more high-contrast AR markers."

Check out the video here. This is a big deal. My guess is in the pretty near future, you'll start seeing augmented reality ads and posters, where you hold your phone up to a 2D poster and it comes to life on your screen. Check out this amazing demo video for an idea of where this software could go: