Reader Mark Lukas has been in touch to share details of an interesting Augmented Reality (AR) project he has been working on. For those of you unaware of AR it is a rapidly emerging technological concept involving the overlay of an interactive visual display, such as data, graphics, video or animation, onto a physical object or environment.

The aim of this project is to provide easy access to digital information whilst reading a book without disturbing the learning process. In this example, the concept of AR has been applied to interactively locate 3D models in a school textbook.

Mark describes the process further:
This concept of a classbook visualizes different parts of the coalmining process. Beginning from the combustion of coal until the global trade, the whole topic is summarised in 14 pages. I also tried to use augmented reality as a tool for an easy way to locate a 3D model in a book. The user can easily thumb through the book and the specific 3D model appears directly, when the webcam recognizes the pattern on the page.

The video below provides a more detailed demonstration of the process at work:

Congratulations to Mark on his progress to date with developing applications of AR. This is an interesting conceptual demonstration of AR in a practical setting and represents a valuable step forward in this hugely fascinating subject area.

Guardian interactive: 'You make the cuts'
Best of the visualisation web... September 2010