This video is of the Emperor Workstation being exhibited at the International Consumer Electoronics Show earlier in the year. I must say it is an impressive display, and somewhat familiar. I, like many of those who commented on the video, thought of doing a similar set up. I had the whole thing sketched out to be built in the closet of my room in college, but laziness took over and it never made it to fruition …Not that it would have been nearly as cool or finished looking as this beast of a workstation.
The Emperor Workstation has 3 monitors, but can be upgraded to include 5. You can get it in different colors and with different features, and it can be run through a desktop or notebook; it has built in speakers and a sub woofer, a power seat, and even rotates! The only unattractive part of this workstation is the price; weighing in at $40K I think I would want more that just a cool looking apparatus to sit in. It is an interesting concept with a nice execution; I really like the scorpion’s tail mechanism along back, but I don’t think I’ll be running out to purchase one anytime soon.
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Today we can augment ourselves, use augmentation ideals in math, and augment pharmaceuticals – but augment reality? Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research that combines the real-world and a computer-generated world into one. We’ve seen the technology through Hollywood’s eyes for years – think of the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the display in Ironman’s helmet, or the singing and dancing graphics on the cereal box in Minority Report.
AR has been around for years and in the past was mostly used by techies for fun and entertainment, but now augmented reality is becoming a tangible, fiscal reality for the consumer-based market. At the forefront of this new frontier is a company named Total Immersion, who has been developing the field since 1999, and publicly showing the technology since at least 2004. Total Immersion has adapted the concept of AR into several markets including: amusement parks, digital marketing, event and exhibits, and retail environments.
The yellow “first down” lines seen in recent televised NFL seasons are the result of AR. Companies like Doritos are cashing in on the idea, too. They recently launched a campaign by placing AR symbols on the back of Doritos Late Night bags. By visiting their website you unlock video concerts by Blink 182 and Big Boi.
Even the everyday designer is getting in on the action. James Alliban created a business card with an augmented reality symbol on the back. When you visit his website you can hold the symbol up to your web cam and watch a short video – the symbol can also be printed out from your computer.
The possibilities are endless, and exciting, with this technology. Virtual onsite walk-throughs for architectural projects, self-guided walking tours with customizable points of interest, information and visitor tracking at exhibitions – could it even save print newspapers and magazines? I can’t wait to see what this technology holds in the future! I know I plan on using it, if I can find the right project.