Augmented Reality Puts Consumers In The Game

Racing-GameGame developers will soon have the ability to connect Total Immersion's augmented reality technology with Unity, creating D'Fusion for Unity, a gaming tool that will create immersive video games for consoles and smartphones and tablets.

It joins brands like Volkswagen and Ray-Ban, which have created ad campaigns and platforms to allow consumers to try out their wares.

Consumers who play video games on smartphones, Sony's PlayStation Vita, Microsoft's Xbox 360, 3D television and Web content can experience augmented reality by putting their image in the picture.

Developers will have the ability to license the software development kit to create a variety of applications.

Total Immersion has been experimenting with the technology, creating an AR Formula 1 game that runs on the Intel Ultrabook, which has both gesture detection and a Webcam that can track faces. The software inserts the player's face in a racing game complete with helmet behind the wheel of the car. The player holds up anything in the shape of a steering wheel that the camera would recognize.

In the future, connected-TV manufacturers supporting 3D TV could increasingly turn to augmented reality to bring a more immersive experience to viewers. The technology will also change search through computer vision by providing a new way to interact with machines, according to Bruno Uzzan, Total Immersion CEO and co-founder. He says people will search "using your hands, face and eyes."

In 2011, the company secured $5.5 million in venture-capital funding in a round led by Intel Capital, with existing backers Partech, iSource and Elaia Partners participating. The total raised came to more than $11 million.

Total Immersion, which supports more than 6,000 developers and 100+ partners worldwide, is working with companies such as the eyewear company Ray-Ban, so people can try glasses by looking into a tablet. It gives consumers a way to try on virtual glasses. The display uses face tracking and augmented reality. 

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