The arrival of Google’s new Glasses project has brought the whole idea of augmented reality right back to the centre of the fold. Augmented reality has, for a long time now, been touted as the future of interaction and been introduced in varying guises.
From apps such as Layar for smart phones to other manners in which to implement it, there are few places where augmented reality (AR) has been as interesting as its use in kiosk technology. We’ve seen a number of amazing, high tech kiosks showcase some of the amazing uses of AR – so let’s take a look at some of the best.
Nissan Cube AR
Nissan used this AR kiosk at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. The kiosk came with an interactive brochure that allowed users to interact with the car. When users changed page on the brochure, the kiosks showcased different parts of the car in 3D on-screen. Not only that, but when you turned the brochure around you could control your view of the car to create a virtual showroom.
Lego introduced these AR kiosks to children’s departments in a number of stores. The machines allowed children and parents to see what a specific box of Lego would look like before purchase. Individual boxes could be taken and shown to the screen in store and then the finished product would be displayed in 3D glory on top of the box in its full working order. Like Nissan’s attempt the box could be twisted for 360 degree views of the item and Lego even added animated characters to the kiosk screen to make things more exciting and allow users an exciting and engaging preview of the toy all thanks to the touchscreen kiosk.
Museums are using the kiosk and AR mixture in a number of ways and one of the best we’ve seen has been in the environmental mould. One American museum uses cards with images of endangered species to allow users to see their natural habitats on screen, as well as facts about each animal. In its non-kiosk form AR has been used extensively with smart phones in museums as a way for users to learn in a more interactive way about items in museums.
Tourism kiosks are also very popular for this reason and the AR and Kiosk mix has been used for a variety of great collaborations. We’ve seen a number of guidebooks and brochures that can be used with the kiosk to show case information, terrain and also history among other things. Essentially, kiosks and AR is a match made in heaven and the limit is often the creator’s imagination.
Christopher Rennicks has worked in the kiosk industry for a number of years and has written on the topic for a number of businesses.