Speaking to Design Exchange’s App creators i2o3d
When we decided to brave the brave world of Augmented Reality for our current #futureForecast issue cover art and content everything hinged on drafting in the right talent. It’s safe to say we found just that. Here’s what John Ladbrook, Technical Director at i2o3d has to say.
From catalogue models de-robing under the cold, harsh light of a smartphone screen, to instruction manuals that spring to life through the lens of a mobile camera, the ability to present ideas and information has never conjured more excitement. So strong is the temptation, in fact, that Design Exchange simply had to have a tinker.
The result being our first augmented reality (AR) edition. The handiwork of two autonomous parties – Canadian animation expert Mike Pelletier and UK AR, VR and 3D specialists i2o3d – we are thoroughly delighted with the outcome.
— Design Exchange mag (@demagazine) November 4, 2016
With this in mind it seemed only fair to open up the floor and listen to some thoughts on the rapidly developing AR market, direct from the brains we drafted in. Without further ado, then, we posed a few questions to John Ladbrook, of i2o3d. This is what he had to say on everything from augmented future to the joys of working with journalists.
Tell us a little about i2o3d
“Well, we started the company about five years ago, and mainly concentrate on developing high-end augmented and virtual experiences for some quite large brands- McLaren, Christies, Infiniti Cars. We concentrate on clients with a real need for very large data sets to be represented in either AR or VR. Where they are looking for a very high level of output.”
And how much experience do you have with editorial?
“We’ve not really worked on this side of things before, other than as a conduit for other film projects.”
What other projects have you worked on?
“We’ve done quite a bit with McLaren, and in many of these models we’ve tried to highlight features people would find the most useful. So the P1 was all about showcasing how close the model was to a race car. The airflow and things like that.”
“Augmented Reality is this mix of virtual and real world, whether that’s showing the airflow on a car or how the vehicle can explode – not in a fiery ball, but break into different components that can be explored further. Basically providing an experience that users can’t get from a web page.”
What’s the most challenging thing about realising an AR idea?
“We often work with clients that have very large data sets anyway. The thing with mobile phones is that they are really still very limited. So we have to heavily prepare that data in order for it to look right whilst running on a comparatively small device, like a phone.”
It seems like AR is still, to some degree, in a stage of infancy compared with VR, which has been experimented with for decades?
“It has actually been around for a very long time. We’ve been involved for five years but are definitely now seeing an increase in the use of the technology.
“Pokemon Go is a prime example. The fact people have these devices on them all the time provides a facility for people to have these new experiences. Wearables, such as the HoloLens, are very much helping us towards this idea of mixed realities. This also offers an experience that is very unique in terms of communication. It’s a realism that is not possible just with 3D environments. I also think it’s more compelling.”
So you’re predicting a bright future?
“Well, VR is actually widening the market for AR, they are not really in competition. People are finding they want the experience of this mixed environment though. Given everyone has a mobile, and these mobiles are getting more powerful with every update, this gives a platform and mechanism for increasingly strong content.
“A lot of our clients are now printing out full-sized markers so people can see the cars in situ, to full scale, for example. This provides users with an understanding they wouldn’t really get any other way. The brain has an innate understanding as to what is visual, and putting it in context with further understanding as oppose to locking it off in a virtual environment. We definitely see AR as the future for decision makers, and people who need to see complex data sets in real world environments. That has usually been done with 3D renders, which can work well, but they don’t fully communicate what you would actually be seeing if something were in the room, as it were.”
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This article was taken from our #FutureForecast edition, which is now shops or order here. Experience i2o3d work close up via the augmented reality cover and content by downloading our app and pointing your device at the cover and images throughout the publication marked with the #AR symbol.