AaaaaaaRgh Rubberduckzilla.com

Poke have done some Augmented Reality stuff for Oasis. It ties in with the whole Rubberduckzilla campaign from Mother. Here’s the TV spot:

The guys took the Nipponophillic oddness of the ad and turned it into something that felt like it came from the same warped place. It’s a bunch of AR games that push the technology in a couple of interesting ways. Like allowing you to become RDZ and fire lasers out of your eyes, which is always a good place to start.

And here’s the latest ‘episode’ which is a special with The Sun. It replaces the front cover of the paper with an animated slice of destruction. Personally I like this bit of the campaign as it puts the ‘marker’ in peoples’ hands and doesn’t rely on printers and stuff.

Nice work Katie and Jason on the particularly ghetto demo ;-)

Visit rubberduckzilla.com to check it out. You will need to print out AR markers (or have a copy of yesterday’s Sun) to make it work, just a quick upfront warning.

I’m struggling a bit with the huge hype around AR stuff at the moment. I was all excited by the idea of it. But secretly I’m worried that Flo from Dare has permanently tainted my attitude to AR. A few months ago he said: “Augmented Reality is the Quicktime VR of 2009″ – I have a feeling he might be right.

The Oasis stuff feels like a slightly silly way of delivering what is essentially a slightly silly message. It’s not trying to do anything more. Which is cool in my book.

I’m not as sure about this application of AR for USPS which was getting absolutely masses of Twitter love the other day.

People seemed to like the utility of it. And I admire its intent. But I’m not so sure it actually works. It feels more like an interesting step on the way to something better. I guess most of the AR stuff around at the moment feels like stepping stones more than anything solid in it’s own right. And I suppose taking steps somewhere is (almost always) better than standing still. Plus it does make the brand look cool and cyber (for a week or two).

18 thoughts on “AaaaaaaRgh Rubberduckzilla.com”

  1. I just and a long e-mail exchange with some of my ex-students about all the AR things appearing (the GE stuff in particular).

    I wasn’t that excited by the GE work – nice start, but the AR part didn’t really make a lot of sense in terms of the interaction. When you think about it you could have done the same thing in Papervision and controlled it by the mouse and probably had a better experience (because you’re not trying to get the thing to work). There didn?t seem to be much reason for the 3D or the AR in the thing apart from being a cute novelty in the GE stuff.

    The RubberDuckzilla gag of putting the marker on your head so that your head becomes the duck’s one is great – it at least does something that couldn’t be done easily another way and that, to me, is the whole issue that threatens to make it the QuickTime VR of now.

    The important thing is to think about the properties of those two technologies: 3D allows you to view things from lots of angles and it allows for fairly natural physics, which would work well given the difficult nature of holding the 3D marker still in front of the camera. Taking advantage of that difficulty – say in a situation where the objects would move or roll around based on their x,y,z pitching and that was part of the challenge seems to make so much more sense to me.

    The central question has to remain, “what can I do with this that is impossible to do any other way?”

  2. You can’t go wrong with lasers. I think the comments about augmented reality are a bit harsh, but a few crap ideas on it will kill the technology stone dead.

  3. What’s Quicktime VR? I’m sure me asking that will reinforce your point further to be honest but it passed me by.

    I agree though that AR is a fad, people here have been raving about it and watching the youtube vids of others doing it yet no one I know has actually tried it themselves!?!?! It’ll be out of the door in a week or two.

  4. There are quite a few issues I have with augmented reality as it stands.

    1) The technology is just not robust enough – printing out markers is a chore (ask yourself do you actually have a printer at home or do you just use the one at work?). More research needs to be done into markerless AR (see PTAM) or just using a marker on your phone (a pretty simple solution).

    2) I imagine that most people will be using AR with a laptop that has an embedded camera – Moving this camera means you have to point your laptop in a different direction and this is pretty hard if you actually want to see the screen. Check the Dare BMW example as a great idea let down by the technology (try putting the AR marker on your desk – then pointing your laptop camera at it – then using the keyboard to drive your car argggggggggh….)

    3) Having a utility for the sake of the technology doesn’t seem to work either – Ian as you’ve stated above, the UPS example is a bit fiddly and I honestly would just grab a ruler or a tape measure. Also the IKEA concept for the digital cannes was genius but it just seemed actually practically doing it would be way too much hassle.

    You seemed a little jaded by the Rubberduck Zilla work – I thought it tied in well with the overall campaign idea – was a fun little experience and actually had a level of interactivity that I enjoyed – great work the AR marker was in The Sun too.

    I think the only way augmented reality is going to break out is when it is delivered as a mobile experience in a robust way – Nokia and Android are showing some interesting work – Apple could too but they need to open up the API’s first.

  5. Definitely agree with your comments about AR, cute ways to apply it (like the Rubberduckzilla – particularly The Sun piece. I wasn’t too fond of the USPS one – it’s all right) but feels over all pretty gimmicky. I think the Pokemon and baseball cards are still the best use I’ve seen.

    I also thought some of the iPhone tests are promising, and of course as you said, it’s just baby steps right now, I don’t think the current ways to use it are going to stick unless it goes fully mobile. Actually, I could imagine a symbol printed on book sor dvd’s (movie trailor?)… A mix of a QR code and AR symbol..? Not sure how easy you would access the content though.

    I also wonder what auditory augmented reality would sound like, so far it’s very much concentrating on the visual side of things.

  6. An additional thought: Thinking about it, audio guides you can rent in museums are really augmented reality. Otherwise, I also thought of the RJDJ app on the iPhone though that might be considered closer to creating hallucinations. There are ideas somewhere in there… Hmm.

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