Augmented reality in Flash


Digital Pictures Interactive has put together a great augmented reality demo. Unlike many others, it’s entirely Flash based, so there’s no install necessary. Print out the custom symbol and try it out for yourself in your browser. Augmented reality refers to any mashup that combines computer generated content with a live video stream. We see great potential for this technology and the large number of consumer webcams would certainly help consumer adoption. Video demo embedded below.

[via Waxy]


  1. Manifesto says:

    This. Is. Awesome!

  2. nick says:

    woah, thats freaking sweet.

  3. polgmail.comymath says:

    imagine coupling this with a pair of video goggles! board games will never be the same.

  4. pascal says:

    if adobe continues down this path, flash might even reach the level of java applets, 10 years ago, sometimes :D

    sorry, but I’m too bedazzled by the really amazing speed, I still thought of flash as “kinda cool 2D vector engine with bad ECMAscript implementation attached”.
    well it still takes a lot more coding skill, to get stuff running at this (high) speed in flash — in a real language, using a real compiler, you could be more wasteful and slackish and still reach interactive speeds. thus, as a slacker, I prefer not flash, makes me think less about optimisation :)

  5. arthur92710 says:

    if you dont want to print it open it in a separate window and point your cam to it! Ha, saved a sheet of paper! Then you can even change the size. Hum do they have a Pillsbury dough boy? I wanna poke his stomach! This is really cool.

  6. tom says:

    While tag based AR was fun once, now it just seems tacky to me.

  7. tscot says:

    any idea why I’m just getting a black screen? it’s not turning my camera on…

  8. serge says:

    If you have Nokia N95 or similar Nokia smartphone (Symbian OS 9.x)you can download games which use similar, albeit more advanced technology. If you don’t you stll can check the videos:

    Other people develop this tech for PC(ARToolkit), Linux, Android, windows mobiles, iPhone etc. though not all of those apps available for download now, many are just experiments yet.

  9. fractalrock says:

    “It’s entirely flash based, so there’s not install necessary”. -ah….I believe you will need to install *Flash* if you don’t already have it?

  10. fractalrock says:

    Also, see this BoingBoing post for a similar…possibly nsfw version of this tech.

  11. ak Yip says:

    A W E S O M E!

  12. fractalrock says:

    I’m going to keep posting until a.) somebody stops me b.) I can fall back asleep..

    To use this flash app full screen and full speed, download it to your local machine:
    (in your browser…file/save page as)

    Now use your browser to open the file locally. There are probably flash viewing apps for your OS too….but firefox is a sure thing.

  13. Dave says:

    One cool aplication I can think of for this is a business card. Have the image on the back, and the website on the front. Point them at your website and get them to follow the instructions to get a virtual you talking to them.

  14. mxjf says:

    wow, just wow. thank you for posting this, i watched the episode of prototype this where they did this, and i was sort of mad that joe didn’t post the code on his blog. it might have been zoz that did it, but whatever.

  15. AbuMaia says:

    seems like a home version of what CNN did on election night

  16. fractalrock says:

    fantastic idea…

  17. RidoKilos says:

    So if I printed out an army of these symbols would it create an army of little green guys??? That could be useful.

  18. frogz says:

    heh, sorry for the plug but i got the ep on, but damn, back when i used do flash…. it wasnt anywhere able to do this, by the way, open gl has been done in java, when a believable quake 3 engine is able to run in flash then it will surpass java, hey joe, wanna post code? thatd be fun to play around with

  19. squirrel007 says:

    So has anyone been able to download the .swf and play it on their computer because I cannot seem to get it to work.

  20. floe says:

    hmmmmm. as the marker with “Hiro” on it is definitely the 7+ years old one from the AR Toolkit, could it be that those guys simply used that C to Flash compiler I’ve recently seen demoed somewhere and just hacked ARToolkit a bit? If so, I believe they are obliged to release the source (ARToolkit is GPL).


  21. kungwill says:

    This is pretty neat, it will make for some great games someday. It took a while to finally get it to work on my macbook. To get the camera to work with a mac:
    control-click on the flash window, go to “Settings…”, and then select the webcam setting and switch the webcam type as “USB Video Class Video”

  22. fractalrock says:

    @squirrel007 and anyone else who tried my suggestion to download the swf and play it locally:
    Don’t bother. It doesn’t work, for whatever reason.

    So my suggestions for trying this, after a bit of trial and error:

    1.) when printing the pdf, make sure you print it actual size (it will be a box about 7cm square, in the middle of the page) By default, Foxit reader wants to print it expanded to page. Don’t let it, it doesn’t work well that large. That’s what she said.

    2) it is important that the printed box be against a light background….don’t fold up the page like the guy in the video; leave it. Even better, set it on a light colored desk.

  23. mydnight says:

    Even if they use GPL, they are only required to release the source if they redistribute their program, and even then only to the people they destribute it to. I doubt viewing a flash applet counts…

  24. Wade says:

    Wow this is very impressive I would like to see this implemented into a game where you cast spells and stuff. That could be very cool for a webcam do you guys not think?

  25. uLe says:


    Yeah It would be really cool to mixed with a tabletop RPG or something like D&D, where you can print different symbols for different kinds of units (squares, triangles, circles, etc) And see them fight in via the web cam in you Desktop !

  26. Blu says:

    This would be awesome for product size/placement visualization. Imagine printing out a product symbol on a sheet of paper and putting it in the corner of your room then with the webcam you see your prospective entertainment center on your wall.

    With some good maths based off a standard 8.5x11in sheet of paper the consumer would be able to tell if the unit will be to large.

    I just bought a Sieg X3 vertical milling machine and i made a cardboard box with the dimensions for bench placement and holly god was I wrong…

  27. cris says:

    everyone put the same animated “green eye monster”..i’ve managed to import many still obj, with tones of baked texture, but nobody had said nothing about animated object(with ik, without bones..i dont know ). how do they worked!! how ??? i ve asked many people , but nobody respond

  28. Brian says:

    Saw this at a Star Wars exhibit a year or so ago. It was a game where you built a spaceport on tatooine using cards that each represented a different building. Relative placement was important, and you could rotate the table to see the spaceport from different angles. It was VERY cool.

  29. Chris J says:

    pretty cool…after doing a little research managed to build one for Earth hour at Basicaly its what it says you hold the earth in your hands, added a reflection from the video feed, set the suns position depending what time it is. On the dark side you can make out the city lights. Also added google geocoding and take a snapshot which can be saved to the desktop.

  30. Sailor says:

    Al we need now is a pair nice 3D goggles with a build in webcam and we can go DragonBall Z on eachother!
    The down site of this technolgy: imagine how popular the sims game will be with this stuff. My sister wil go besurk and never leave the pc

  31. CAL says:


  32. UwpStudent says:

    Where can i play with this?

  33. jpdguzman says:

    Hey guys, We have a share on the pie too. Check out to see what we have done.

  34. secure wifi says:

    adding to twitter this is great info.

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