Some interesting AR in Japan examples – Cameras, Cars e-learning and more – with huge sales growth predictions: http://bit.ly/nyl8LR
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Pioneer’s car navigation system “Cyber Navi,” which went on sale in May, is one example. Over a live feed of the view in front of the car, information such as arrows showing the way to turn, the distance to the car in front, and logo marks of chain stores are overlaid. Although the system costs up to around 300,000 yen, Pioneer says that due to a stronger than expected response, demand is currently outstripping supply.
Giving a boost to AR technology is the spread of smartphones. Since July, online game company NHN Japan has been distributing a free game for smartphones that uses AR, creating cartoon characters on the display and otherwise advancing the game when a user points their smartphone’s camera at particular real-world locations.
Another smartphone program that uses AR technology is Sekai Camera, a free program offered by Tonchidot Corporation. Using the GPS capabilities of smartphones and other techniques, it determines the location of the user, and relevant text, imagery and audio data become accessible from the display. The software acts as advertising for stores and also allows users to leave comments for one another.
Meanwhile, trading house Uchida Yoko Co. is researching the use of AR in home floor plans and educational resources. For students learning geography, the company is offering a system that takes a camera feed of a regular topographical map on paper and displays a 3D version of it on a monitor. By physically moving the real map, the 3D display can be rotated. The company says the system offers the merit of allowing a variety of virtual models to be used without having to put together expensive real models.
The company is also offering a system that displays images expressing English vocabulary when cards with the words written on them are held up to a camera. The system is going to be used experimentally in elementary schools in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Another business using AR technology is Fujifilm. When its FinePix F600EXR digital camera — going on sale Aug. 27 with an estimated price tag of around 40,000 yen — is pointed at landmarks, it displays information about them. According to the company, this product is the first such camera in the world to use AR technology.
According to market research company Seed Planning, the domestic market for devices using AR is expected to grow rapidly, going from around 20 billion yen in sales in 2009 to around 180 billion yen in 2015. Full story here.