An enterprising Rhode Island School of Design student figured out how to bake cookies that make webcams do tricks:
Augmented reality is a pretty neat trick, using markers picked up by webcams (or cameras on mobile devices) to display images that others can’t see. This has been around for a while, but it usually required some type of narcotic substance; now it can be harnessed through technology without ingesting hallucinogens.
With smartphones becoming a hub of political activist activity, the next question is: how does the next “revolutionary” campaign use this technology?
The easiest way will be to turn lawn signs and other advertisements into instant sources of new information. The typical lawn sign is pretty simple: it has a name and, maybe, a slogan but little else. Augmented reality would allow passers by to point their iPhone or other mobile device and instantly have access to a much broader range of text and information.
But for many campaign operatives, the more fun part might be finding a way to piggyback messages about an opponent onto his or her own signs – the messaging equivalent of Bugs Bunny drawing a mustache on a wanted poster of Yosemite Sam.