I came across this yesterday on Igloo Studios' School blog. Check out this movie, it's only a minute long but it represents such a huge leap forward I'm struggling to wrap my head around it.
Man! How cool is that?
That's a demonstration of Inglobe Technology's ARmedia Plug-in for SketchUp. That means that Inglobe Technology developed a separate piece of software that inserts itself into Google's SketchUp to make it do things it otherwise couldn't. ARmedia stands for Augmented Reality, and how it works is that from SketchUp, a user can activate the ARmedia and turn on a webcam. The Augmented Reality plug in will then project what ever model the user's working on into the video feed from the web cam. The result is a fully 3-D SketchUp model projected into something that approximates the real world.
If you watch the guy in the video, he spins his model and changes the view from a rendered model to a wire frame diagram and back. Just imagine where this kind of technology will lead.
I'm completely captivated by Google's Street Views in Google Maps, and I liken it to going on a virtual walking tour. Now imagine if instead of still photos knitted together in Street View, there were real, three dimensional images anyone could walk around and interact with. The technology behind the ARmedia Plug-in will some day soon allow me or anybody else to walk up to the Pantheon and pound on the bronze doors. Or window shop along the Champs-Élysées. Or pick lavender in Provence. This thing is going to change everything from how you watch a movie to how you study art history or genetics. WOW!
Inglobe has a free version of this plug-in available from their website, believe it or not. Free. There's also a pro version for € 99, a student version for € 49 and an educators version for € 29. I know, I think listing prices in Euros is a pose so the US dollar prices are $131, $64 and $38 if you're not up on exchange rates.
Again, holy cow!