Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Augmented reality hits the streets

KIA took an interesting approach to promoting its new Punto Evo. Rather than using QR codes, which are already common, they developed a smart phone app (iPhone and Android only) that reads standardized, well-defined, high-contrast shapes that are all over the urban landscape: traffic signs.

Here's more explanation:

"For example; a STOP sign will tell the user all about the new breaking system, a CURVE ahead sign will tell the user that the car has an intelligent lighting system that guides you in curves. And the list goes on with every sign and feature of the car."
This is a European campaign by Leo Burnett Iberia in Madrid,  so your mileage may vary if you try it on another continent's standard signs. (See full credits at their YouTube link)

Meanwhile, in New York City, new interactive LED signs are reminding drivers who break the new 30 MPH (~48 km/h) that they are significantly more likely to kill a pedestrian in case of a collision:

I like this approach much better than the KIA one. First of all, as I'm an urban pedestrian it's a cause I feel passionate about. Second, I'm a little worried that the traffic sign game by KIA will actually lead to crashes between distracted walkers and drivers.

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