Total Immersion’s Augment Reality at CES: Coolest Gadget Ever?

by Mark R

Coolest Gadgets readers, there may not be a reason to post another article on this site. You see, I have discovered the coolest gadget ever. Okay, maybe it is a little too early to say it is the coolest gadget ever, but it is easily the coolest thing that I’ve seen so far at CES 2009. And I saw the Live 3D coverage of the BCS championship, for crying out loud.

Today, while I was at a CES event known as Lunch at Piero’s, I saw a demonstration by a Total Immersion. This company uses Augmented Reality (AR) to make special effects in real-time.

I will try to explain what I saw. Total Immersion’s set up was a camera and a monitor. The representative picked up a box of a K’nex toy and waved it in front of the camera. (If you’re not familiar with K’nex, think of them as something like Lego.)

In the monitor, I saw a 3D computer generated model of what the K’nex toy would look like when it is assembled sitting on the box. When the representative turned the box, the digitally completed K’nex toy also moved appropriately, as if the representative was holding the real toy on a tray.

After a while, the augmented reality image of the toy came alive and flew away. I realize that I didn’t even come close to doing justice in the description of this new Augmented Reality imaging software, so I filmed it.

Sadly, the file failed to download on YouTube. However, I found this one YouTube video to give you an idea what Total Immersion can do. Watch the part with the Pokemon cards battle it out, because I got to see that demonstration too.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with me on Augmented Reality being one of the coolest things that you’ve ever seen.

12 reviews or comments

mark Says: January 9, 2009 at 7:27 am

Ya I must say that is pretty awesome! The variety of things you could do with this are astounding. The gaming effect alone will be sweet! Now it just depends on the cost of the software and rendering to make this thing useful.

MikeE Says: January 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Must admit, I was skeptical when I read your headline, but seeing that video, I’m seriously impressed! Makes Microsoft’s Surface look so last year.

Any ideas on when (if?) it’ll be available, and how much?

And given that you genuinely have found the world’s coolest gadget, and thus have no use for your blog any more, can I have it please? ;)

Augmented Reality Improves Topps Baseball Cards » Coolest Gadgets Says: March 9, 2009 at 11:56 am

[…] of you might remember when I reported on Augmented Reality from Total Immersion. I believe I stated that this blog should stop reporting, because I had found the coolest gadget […]

Avatar Action Figures come with Augmented Reality » Coolest Gadgets Says: July 23, 2009 at 10:21 am

[…] Avatar toys use augmented reality, something that I have referred to as the Coolest Gadget ever. It works when one of the toys is placed in front of a webcam. Software provided by Total Immersion […]

Best Buy Ads in 3D! » Coolest Gadgets Says: August 4, 2009 at 9:28 am

[…] You might notice that when you turn the ad, the 3D image will also turn in realtime. How is this possible? With our old friend, Augmented Reality. […]

maxibon Says: August 24, 2009 at 2:53 am

im going to say because i dont think any one ese has if you search total immersion in google and go to the site you can do a free try. all you need is a computer a webcam a printer and the internet!

More Augmented Reality! This time on Coke Zero » Coolest Gadgets Says: November 25, 2009 at 8:01 am

[…] my name for Augmented Reality, and it will catch on, I know it). Anyway, I called augreal the “coolest gadget ever” at last CES, and it has just recently been on display in Esquire’s December 2009 […]

Augmented Reality short film might be an accurate representation of the future, but I hope not. » Coolest Gadgets Says: January 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

[…] believe that I have praised augmented reality on this blog before, I even called it the “Coolest Gadget Ever” at CES 2009. I’ve since seen many variations of it, which were mostly entertainment, save for the X-ray […]

Zero Says: May 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

Good Idea

C3 Technologies creates photo-realistic 3D city visualizations » Coolest Gadgets Says: January 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

[…] years ago, I encountered augmented reality for the first time. Now it is everywhere. This year, C3 Technologies showed me what’s what […]

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