Today’s Obsession: Me!

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Today’s obsession is all about the future of the web. I’ve just finished a project (launching today) with Mozilla to show off some of the capabilities of the impending Firefox 4. Mozilla paired me with the brilliant Ilmari Heikkinen, who programmed everything you’re about to see. The technology is his, visuals are mine. Together, we created a little demo of what Firefox is referring to as augmented reality.

The technology itself, called WebGL, is incredibly cool—Firefox4 will allow you to render and compute 3D objects in real time, without plugins. In this example, Ilmari’s filmed himself moving a target shape around on his desk, which, when clicked, replaces with one of my little 3D toys, which has been translated from the 3D models I make to JavaScript computations of the originals.

This has some pretty massive implications. It means that as this technology goes mobile, you can conceivably use your mobile as a lens to see generated content that’s only virtually “there.” This technology isn’t yet in Firefox4’s mobile version yet, so we’ll see that very shortly in the future. On the desktop, it presents huge opportunities for gameplay, integrating real video with generated characters.

This is kinda bleeding edge technology, so be aware you’ll need the latest Firefox4 beta (which is, I’m assured, stable enough for frequent usage).