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AR Gimmicks > Epson New Year Cards

The AR gimmicks series, is a collection of short articles, each taking a look at one gimmicky augmented reality release. None of them have world-changing applications, yet as their numbers continue to radically increase, they serve an invaluable collective function. Each raises awareness in the mainstream, of AR, just aa little higher. Each encourages the use of technologies to make AR easier, cheaper and faster. The knock-on effect of course being that since VR shares many of the same technologies, VR equipment becomes more readily available and cheaper to produce.

Epson rounded off 2009 with a novel marketing strategy utilising virtual mirror technology. The standard type of kiosk-based visual AR, virtual mirrors utilise a camera and a large flatscreen display (the mirror) to superimpose virtual data upon the reflection returned.The idea? To create AR New Year's cards to send.

As new year's cards are very big in Japan,. That is where Epson set up a majority of the kiosks. Nothing new technology-wise, but it increases the visibility of the technology to the general public.

The person using the kiosk, first chooses a card style, then the card appears on screen, with their face superimposed over the primary character's head, undergoing the appropriate transpositions and warping to fit into the correct position without losing the general shape of the customer's face and head. This occurs in real-time, so the customer can choose the exact expression they desire, before selecting continue. A photograph is taken, and the physical card is printed then and there as a composite of the photo and card graphics.


Epson starts New Year with augmented reality greeting cards

Epson Video Presentation

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