New Alien RFID Reader adds geopositioning and helps Augmented Reality?

Posted by on April 13th, 2008 in augmented reality, post-privacy, RFID

RFID-manufacturer Alien Technology announced this week it has created new software for its tag readers. The software provides information on the velocity and position of tags, and can thereby distinguish between adjacent tagged objects such as luggage.

Immediate benefits – no lost luggage. (Yeah, sure)

Slightly longer-term? Stick an RFID in or on your person and you’ve got another part of the recipe for ultra-precise augmented reality.

It’s inevitable that RFIDs will soon work there way into our homes. Just as you will probably soon be able to google your shoes, so will your own mobile device or PC know exactly where you are.

Because just as WiFi Signal strength is now being used for medium-level geopositioning to supplement GPS, RFID Readers like this will give us the last level of granularity needed to perform the real-time tracking required to realize Augmented Reality, as demo’ed in videos like this:

YouTube Preview Image

Removing the need for those QRCodes you can glimpse scattered around the room; an ugly kludge to give the camera some idea where to place the virtual characters, but no uglier than the rough, prototyped equipment.

Yes, this raises the whole Privacy issue again. At the very least the early versions of this will probably be homebrewed; bits of OpenSource code tied together by Perl or Python, and stuck behind a powerful firewall.

But once the commercial applications start coming out (think LARPs meet MMORPGs) well, to say some strict measures will need to be enforced is an understatement. Because every kid on the planet will want to play, but could you imagine convincing a parent that someone other than them should be able to record their child’s precise location.

Even more importantly though, where’s the other part of the tech needed for Augmented Reality; functional (and non-ugly!) HUDs?!

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One Response to “New Alien RFID Reader adds geopositioning and helps Augmented Reality?”

  1. Perhaps the HUD could come at the bottom of your vision with little opacity, so long as you were wearing those amazing retina projecting glasses – the two combined would make for some interestingly shocking moments.