Kevin Thies – Looking Outwards – 01

A demonstration showcasing varying positions

Around early April, I was browsing Imgur when  I saw a really cool project. This user had posted a work-in-progress project geared towards players of Dungeons & Dragons, or other tabletop games. The creators were two guys, Quentin and Dan, from Elderwood Academy. The project itself utilizes tags or tokens that an app would be able to recognize and determine its orientation, and be able to overlay a digital model over the camera output, similar to Pokemon Go.

The project is a pretty straightforward machine vision example, and there are a few premade augmented reality toolkits. A very similar project used ARToolkit for Unity, although that had more built-in functionality, acting more as a game than just a viewer. The project was partially inspired by the Microsoft Holodeck, as well as the common use of figurines for tabletop D&D gameplay and the buzz around machine vision and AR games.

Personally, I admire it as a hobby project. Before going to Kickstarter, the creators put two months of work into it as a hobby, and while the thing isn’t the most polished, it demonstrates a concept product and use. One cool possibility I could see coming out of this is that it costs money to buy tokens, and if there were some sort of open-source AR model app developed, it could be used to really enhance a simple tabletop game without having to spend a lot of money on figures.

A dragon rotating with the card

They have an old Imgur link here, as well as an unsuccessful Kickstarter page here.

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