I wanted to do a quick follow up on the GE augmented reality work I wrote about a few weeks ago with another interesting execution using this medium. This time it is Topps 3D Live baseball cards that are using the technology in an even more interesting way. Like the GE execution, you go to a special web site and then hold the baseball card up in front of your web cam which will cause the player on the card come to life with an voice over announcing their arrival. Once they have been brought to life you can put the card down on a flat surface and it will trigger a simple game based on the position the chosen player plays on their team. So the pitcher has to his bulls eye targets, the outfield has to catch pop fly’s and hitters get to take a few swings all controlled by the user who triggers the actions with simple key presses. I think this is the best use of this technology I have seen so far because it’s use introduces a new reason to buy baseball cards which have seen their profits drop 80% in the Internet age. Collectors, most of whom are still kids, can easily find all the facts and photos they would ever want online and do it all for free. In this case being able to use the technology not only for the cool effect but to use that effect to drive sales and create brand differentiation which we all need to do now more than ever.
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