There's a new fashion coming up in Switzerland and it makes you look like a hipster with some over-sized goggles and a backpack. It's called augmented reality. This kind of concept has been on the rise ever since corporations have seen the positive consequences of such technology. Imagine using your car window as a touchscreen. Well, General Motors has already seen through the development of such a platform. What about LCD windows in the home? Samsung came up with that as well. All sorts of companies are hopping on the bandwagon, and Jan Torpus is one of the people who makes augmented reality happen.
His plastic helmet turns the world in front of you to something completely outlandish, where you can see animals interacting with the scenery around them. You still get a tinge of the real thing. Nothing is omitted, but the augmented reality engine adds objects to the landscape and makes them interact with real things.
A journalist put the helmet on and saw a red fish chasing the beetles through some fields. But, wait, what was that? The fields quickly turned into a desert. Now, a green worm is warming up to the fish, and the reality engine puts some soundtrack to set the mood.
Torpus tells us how this magical device works. He says that the wearer of the helmet sets the scenery and the objects. “You thought the worm and the fish wanted to fight, but they are actually friends,” says Torpus. “Every walk is unique. The situation in the park is always different in terms of time of day, light, weather, temperature, encounters with people, and animals. The real climate is juxtaposed with a virtual climate, the real living beings with virtual ones. Both worlds can be influenced by the user. At the same time the element of chance plays a part in both the real and synthetic worlds. This gives rise to unique, non-reproducible situations.”
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