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Video: How Far has Augmented Reality Come? This A-Ha “Take on Me” Recreation Shows it is Pretty Darn Far

28 July 2017

Ah the 1980s, a simpler time when there was no social media to express our daily outrage or keep us informed about all the craziness in the world. A time when bright outfits were only outmatched by even brighter and wilder hair.

The 80s were also the salad days for music videos and the creation of the original MTV, back before the “Teen Mom” days. The launching point for music videos was the still brilliant “Take on Me” from the one-hit wonder Norwegian band A-Ha. It took a media form that wasn’t at all popular to stratospheric levels.

Now, using augmented reality, an iPhone and the recently released ARKit from Apple, a developer has recreated the iconic music video allowing a family to view the world around them as a shaky black and white comic book.

While the video is super cool, more importantly it shows just how far we have already come in terms of what augmented reality can do. While virtual reality is a format where a user is transformed to another plane that’s been entirely digital altered, augmented reality portrays virtual elements in the real world through an overlay.

AR is being used for numerous different markets already including airports for digital waypoints, safety checks for trucking fleets, drone obstacle courses, next-generation of fighting robots, educational toys and much more.

But the recreation of “Take on Me” shows that AR is a platform where entertainment can be created for just about anything someone can think up. ARKit from Apple allows you to view another world from your iPhone, almost like jumping into a portal that is walked through to discover new virtual scenery.

Trixi Studios, who created the recreation using ARKit, developed a proprietary app that puts a 3-D model of a 80s dude dancing away to the iconic song. Then the viewer can see others around the virtual scene moving in and out of the comic overlay.

We are living in a time where developers and creators are cooking up all sorts of cool stuff with amazing, new technology. We could see a whole host of new stuff come out that alters forever how we get and receive our entertainment.

And with more innovations in augmented reality coming out daily and Apple rumored to be developing hardware support for AR in its upcoming Internet-connected mobile devices, we could go from Pokémon Go being the lynchpin for AR just about one year ago to having full-blown systems in our homes a few years later.

While the “Take on Me” recreation is indeed a cool thing and makes for a great video, it further proves that AR is going to be something special. And that instead of having to wait many years for it to come to fruition, it will be here sooner than we think.

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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