Polytechnic Institute of New York University instructor of integrated digital media Mark Skwarek and Animesh Anad, a computer science graduate student, developed 3-D augmented-reality masks for Halloween. With a $5 donation, you can choose between a kitty, ghoul, skeleton or pumpkin-head. The masks launch an augmented-reality game that turns the entire planet into a futuristic reality game in which real people and locations morph with fantasy.
Simply print out "markers" and clip them to your hair or hat. By holding up a mobile device loaded with an app, you suddenly appears wearing a digital mask. You can walk around the masked wearer and peek around the sides to try to find the wearer's identity—just as one would at a costume ball.
Skwarek predicts augmented reality technology will soon boom as future generations of Google Glass and competitors emerge. Gamers will no longer stare, nearly stationary, at video screens, but instead visit parks and other common areas, which have been mapped by game developers using GPS, where they will physically interact with others in realistic-looking settings overlaid with the creators’ imaginative additions, such as forts or castles. The same technology, already developed for mobile phones and pads by Skwarek, allows an interior designer or architect to walk clients into an unfinished building and see in 3D what the finished project will look like, while moving and turning to get different views.