SnapMyInfo AR

by mikepk on February 18, 2010

The next phase of snapmyinfo is something I’m calling snapyinfo AR. It takes the basic 2D barcode, “QR”, decoding technology of snapmyinfo and adds an augmented reality experience on top of it for contact sharing.

I experimented with a live video decoder prototype at the MassTLC tech tuesday event in November. That experiment pointed to several ways of improving the overall experience of using snapmyinfo at networking events. For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on polishing the decoder, making it faster, more robust, as well as adding augmented reality graphical elements and a social media dimension with automatic tweeting of new contacts.

With a large display and webcam, individuals at networking events will be able to walk up, each flash their snapmyinfo code and instantly share information with each other. On the screen, the users contact information will be displayed to satisfy the need for instant gratification. The real-time decoding and multiple-user-at-once nature of the setup will also help to make contact sharing as fast (or faster) than traditional physical business card exchanges.

I’m almost ready to field test the system and hope to use it at a local area Boston networking event soon. As soon as I decide which one, I’ll post an update here. Here’s a quick video of the system at work that gives a flavor of what the final system may look like as it’s still evolving.

I think having both this augmented-reality, installation-based way of using snapmyinfo, as well as camera phone based way of decoding the barcodes helps make these contact-barcodes even more useful. The immediacy and visual impact of the AR system will make this project more exciting as well as improve the experience of using snapmyinfo at events. Even more interesting is that these are still the same snapmyinfo codes as before, just decoded in different ways. That means they can be used in this new AR fashion at networking events but still function with standard QR barcode readers as well as the email decoder at snapmyinfo.

I’m looking forward to testing this and getting real feedback from users.

  • eric

    Very cool stuff, Mike. :) Out of curiosity, are you just using the camera on your macbook pro or an external one? It would be interesting to see if there's a difference in the time your software takes to identify the QR barcode as a result

  • http://mikepk.com mikepk

    I'm using an external webcam at the moment (a logitech QuickCam Pro). It works with the MBP camera too, but because of the limited resolution it requires you to be a lot closer with the QR tag (at least 2 1/2 feet from the camera). That's fine for decoding if you're sitting in front of the machine, but I'm envisioning people standing in crowds a goodly distance from this setup. I'm running the normal video stream in HD 1280×720 at 30fps which allows identification and reading of the codes from several feet away.

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  • http://qrarts.com/ Patrick Donnelly

    Interesting – I like how you examined this as a group experience rather then a individual UX person on thier mobile.

  • http://qrarts.com/ Patrick Donnelly

    Interesting – I like how you examined this as a group experience rather then a individual UX person on thier mobile.

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