At London’s Victoria Station a voluptuous angel fell from the sky and interacted with unsuspecting humans. Needless to say, it created quite a reaction. However, the angel in question didn’t actually fall from the sky; she leapt out of someone’s laptop.

In Europe they’re known as Lynx, but to us Americans the brand name of Axe might be more familiar. It wasn’t too long ago that they launched a new television ad that was, in fact, really quite clever. Some average Joe sprays some Axe body spray and the next thing you know smokin’ hot angels are falling from the sky and smashing their halos for a chance to be with him. Like I said, it’s pretty amusing. Take a look for yourself.

This is where a thing called “augmented reality” comes in. According to the anonymous folks at Wikipedia, “augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

The television series ‘Firefly’ depicts numerous AR applications, including a real-time medical scanner which allows a doctor to use his hands to manipulate a detailed and labeled projection of a patient’s brain. In ‘Minority Report’, Tom Cruise stands in front of a supercomputer using AR technology, and in the movie ‘Mission Impossible 2’, Tom Cruise uses Augmented Reality technology via a set of sunglasses he wears to debrief himself of his forthcoming mission, Chimera, after he completes climbing a mountain at the very outset of the movie.”

More than ever companies are exploring augmented reality for, you guessed it, marketing. And that is what led to “Angel Ambush”, which featured an angel falling from the sky to interact with people at Victoria Station.

According to an article by Sharif Sakr on the BBC News website “some experts have commented that ‘Angel Ambush’ was not ‘real’ augmented reality at all because the virtual angel was just a layer of video manipulated by a human operator, rather than an independent 3D object.” The article goes on to state that Myles Peyton, UK Sales Director of Total Immersion, says “The true commercial power of augmented reality lies in its ability to let consumers virtually hold and interact with products that are fully and accurately modeled in the virtual world.”

So perhaps “Angel Ambush” wasn’t “true” augmented reality, but it sure looks like a lot of fun. I do find myself wondering if it will be so fun once it’s everywhere jumping out at me; trying to get me to buy all kinds of crap I don’t need. Until then, bring on the angels!

Interested in learning more about augmented reality? The website How Stuff Works has got everything you’d want to know!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 4:58 am and is filed under Geek Stuff, Science, Television. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 Comment so far

  1. Cindy Chaney on May 27, 2011 12:27 pm

    Fun article, love the commercial, and the of course the Firefly reference..go nerd girl!!!

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