Breakthrough Augmented Reality Camera from Olympus

Category: News
Los Angeles, Calif. -- Shutterbugs Can Take Photos, Videos in a Virtual Test Drive of the New Olympus PEN E-PL1. In a development certain to make digital photography buffs do a double-take, Total Immersion, developer of augmented reality (AR) products, announced that it has teamed with Olympus and Mullen, a Boston-based advertising agency, on the first augmented reality camera.

The browser-based AR application enables consumers to explore – and use – a full-featured virtual 3D model of the Olympus PEN E-PL1 micro camera, the thinnest digital SLR on the market. The demo lets prospective buyers get a feel for the camera’s compact size and the full range of its capabilities. And a click of the virtual shutter provides the same output as the camera itself: a digital photo.
Consumers can literally take photos with the virtual camera. They can try their hand at creating videos, popping open the camera flash, and experimenting with photo editing effects by applying a variety of in-camera art filters.

Inserts in the June issue of Wired Magazine and the July issue of Popular Photography offer consumers a life-size printed replica of the camera, which is used to trigger the online AR experience. Consumers can print images of the front and back of the camera from the Olympus site as well.

”Augmented reality and digital photography were made for each other,” said Stephen Mietelski, senior vice president, Group Creative Director, Mullen. “Augmented reality has been used by companies before, but more as a gimmick than as an actual, working, in-depth product demo. This is as close to having the camera in your hands as you can get without actually having it in your hands.”

“The Olympus AR application is an entirely different take on digital photography, going well beyond a product tutorial to provide a virtual experience of the product itself,” said Bruno Uzzan, CEO, Total Immersion. “This offers consumers a special view of the E-PL1 micro camera, in which the product can be spun around, tinkered with, and manipulated in ways that stop just short of a real, tactile experience.”

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