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The person inside the AR kiosk can interact with animals and objects.

Bahrain firm to set up virtual fantasy world

Manama, May 25, 2013

Bahrain-based Satlink Limited has joined hands with US-based Du Media to bring in the innovative experience of Augmented Reality (AR), a futuristic technology in which the physical and virtual worlds collide, to the kingdom's residents.

The duo will be setting up booths offering Augmented Reality experience that can include a trip through a rain forest, a journey into space or simply a visit to a famous landmark, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

"The person inside the kiosk will be able to picture himself and interact with the people, animals and objects," said Du Media chairman Fazal Raheman during a visit to Bahrain. "It will be as if they are in that world."

AR is described as being closer to the real world than virtual reality, which immerses people in computer-generated world.

The website howstuffworks.com explains that unlike virtual reality, AR adds "graphics, sounds, haptic (touch) feedback and smell" to the natural world as it exists - offering a more complete sensory experience.

"This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell," it explains.

Raheman added that hundreds of different themes were available. "Special cameras set up inside the kiosks, along with the software, will transport people into a world of their choosing," he said.

People will even be able to get video footage of their adventures sent to their mobile device. "They can then forward it to their friends, who can forward it to others. The possibilities are endless," Raheman stated.

However, the possibilities for the technology are almost as endless as the worlds it allows people to explore.

It has been earmarked for use by advertisers, as well as in telecommunications - allowing people in different countries to chat as if they were in the same room.

"Special cameras attached to computers, much like a normal webcam, can transport family members across the globe," said Raheman.

"This means that someone, say in Bahrain, can be seated in the same room with his relative or friend in India having a conversation.

"We are initiating special partnership programmes for marketing agencies, advertising companies and event management firms and this complements our ARK franchise programmes that help entrepreneurs set these up in public places with low investment and high returns."

Advertisers will also be able to use the booths to market their product or brand.

"A company can set up a kiosk and offer customers free trips to various parts of the world," said Mr Raheman.

"The company logo on the video clip can then be sent across the world as an e-mail link, by instant messenger or any other electronic means."

Satlink general manager Om Ramchandani added there was huge potential for the technology in Bahrain. "We have already received a number of inquiries from prospective customers and plan to offer it to users in the next few months," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | fantasy |

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