Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking showing at Famous Accountants "Tunneling" show

Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking showing at Famous Accountants "Tunneling" show
Mark Skwarek
If you're around in Brooklyn next weekend check out Famous Accountants
"Tunneling" show Joseph Hocking and I are in. I've attached a sketch of the AR iPhone app we'll be showing.
Curator: Will Pappenheimer

August 7th — September 4th, 2010

Opening: Saturday, August 7th,
6PM - 10PM

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


14 Apps Connecting You to the Gulf Oil Spill

App developers are always quick to hop on a new trend, especially one as big as the Gulf Oil Disaster. But that also means a plethora of tools and apps for all of us, from the serious news to snarky political elbowing. For staying up on the latest updates, becoming a citizen reporter, or simply grasping the impact of the spill, here are 14 apps that connect you to one of the greatest ecological disasters the US has ever experienced……

full article here

Cutesy AR App Busts Up BP Logo, But Is It Harmless? We Say Yes


Cell Phones
Cutesy AR App Busts Up BP Logo, But Is It Harmless? We Say Yes

by Matthew Zuras — Jul 7th 2010 at 6:30PM

So there’s this cheeky new app concept that’s been floating around the Internet lately, and it’s raised the question of how trademarks are protected in the virtual space. “The Leak in Your Hometown,” an augmented reality app for the iPhone that hasn’t yet been approved by Apple, captures any BP logo that the phone’s camera detects, and superimposes an animated pipe, billowing some kind of miasma. Cute, but is it legal?

Adbusting like this is a facile form of protest, but the main failure of this app is the fact that it’s both private and self-selecting. Turning a Pepsi logo, say, into a billboard that reads ‘OBESITY’ is charming, but it also reaches a multitude of viewers who may or may not believe that the soft drink giant contributes to American fattiness. “The Leak in Your Hometown,” in contrast, will only be downloaded and viewed by people who already believe that BP is evil. (Well, that may include all of us nowadays, but you get our point.) If an ad gets busted, and no one’s around to see it, did it ever really happen?
The discussion, though, is all theoretical unless Apple approves the app, which could have its army of attorneys scrambling at yet another lawsuit. Chris Cameron at ReadWriteWeb wonders if this app isn’t a blatant case of trademark infringement, and what precedent an app like this could set for the AR space. While he notes that parody is often protected, he doesn’t really give libel law its due. Unless people mistake a busted BP logo for the real thing, the company has little legal recourse. The real question is whether Apple would approve an app that negatively targets a business, and we’re betting that they won’t.

BP has much, much larger problems than a minor iPhone app (like 60,000 barrels of crude soaking poor cormorants each day), so the corporation probably won’t take the developers to court (if the app ever manages to get into the App Store). “Hometown” creators Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking write on their site that AR adbusting “will offer future artists and activists a powerful means of expression which will be easily accessible to the masses.” Although we think their distribution platform limits the effectiveness of their message, we agree that the virtual space may become the next stomping ground for digital protest. But, until we see the first case of virtual trademark infringement hit the court room, we think activists have little to worry about. [From: ReadWriteWeb]

Untitled for Now

BP Spill Inspired AR and What it Does Right

Blog by Tony Volpe

I have to give a big two thumbs up to the iPhone App, “The Leak in Your Home Town” created by Mark Skwarek and Joesph Hocking. In summary, after grabbing their iPhone App you can head off to any BP station, point your camera at the iconic British Petroleum logo and voila! You’ve got yourself an oil spill of your very own! It’s like socially aware, virtual, graffiti.

One thing that I love about this piece is that it’s much truer to what I feel is Augmented Reality than most applications just by using the BP logo. What I mean by this is that as a user of AR Apps I’m sick of being required to print out a logo that looks like some kind of half finished cubist painting and position it somewhere to get a virtual object to appear. At this point am I really augmenting reality? It feels more like I’m augmenting a piece of paper in an environment of my own choosing. I understand this proceedure is required to overcome huddles involved in the technology, however it seems that Ad Agencies and Developers of AR applications seem to forget that this typical process destroys much of the illusion that is so key to their idea.

I’ll give you an example brief that I’ve seen many times. To promote a product an agency wants to create an out of doors event where people will use a mobile device to present a virtual representation of a that product layered onto the real world. To do so the user must point their device at the stereotypical AR marker.

The intention is that viewer is Shocked! Amazed! that there is a crazy, unreal object right before their eyes! The problem is this : at the point which the user is required to point the camera at a symbol which is clearly not a part of their normal surroundings, that user already knows that something is out of the ordinary. And so why would they be surprised when something virtual appears above it? The user already has a big hint that “Hey! something out of the ordinary exists right here!”

“The Leak in Your Home Town” avoids all this by using something that is naturally present in the environment. That’s part of what makes this project so excellent to me, and I’m sure it’s been done before and will be done often after this.

What are some other alternatives? A simple one is to have the app respond to a logo in a billboard 50 feet away. Hand the phone to the user and give them alternative task – “Can you take a picture of me and my girlfriend?”. When a car leaps off the billboard and is chased by a giant T-Rex, I can gaurentee you the view will be suprised then!

AR Newsroom

BP – “The leak in your Hometown” an Augmented Reality APP for Iphone

Submitted by Willy A on Fri, 07/09/2010 – 13:10

ImageI don’t even know if we can call this an Augmented Reality APP, because “the leak in your home town” is all about the Real Reality! So, let’s be optimistic and get some hope from people who really care for our children but also for our planet in general. Joseph Hocking (Professor) and Mark Skwarek ( Digital Artist) are working on this new AR “Green” project and plan to release an Iphone APP very soon. This is the type of application that will help us to never forget, but also be aware of what’s going on in our ocean. This is a perfect example of AR Iphone App that really makes sense! Here is the App’s description with Mark ‘s own words:

We are using the iPhone to create site-specific art work about the BP oil spill. Basically the work lets the viewer see the broken pipe and oil anytime they see a BP logo. The viewer aims their iPhone at any BP logo and what they will see is the broken oil pipe come out of the BP logo. Out of the broken pipe comes the oil, pluming upward. This is done by overlaying 3D computer graphics onto the iPhone’s video camera, a process also known as augmented reality. What makes this project important is that we are using BP’s corporate logo as a marker to orient the computer-generated 3D graphics, basically turning their own logo against them. This re-purposing of corporate icons will offer future artists and activists a powerful means of expression which will be easily accessible to the masses and at the same time will be safe and nondestructive.

BP triggers dark side for augmented reality

Checkmate, The Beaupre Blog
BP triggers dark side for augmented reality
Posted At : July 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Posted By : Steve Hodgdon
Related Categories: Social Media,Commentary,Media Relations,Crisis Management,PR,Cleantech,Public Relations,Marketing,News
No sooner did brand managers and marketers discover augmented reality (AR) as the next big marketing frontier then did consumers find a way to use AR to voice their own opinions.
AR developers Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking are keeping BP’s feet to the fire with a new AR iPhone app that lets users visualize the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at their local BP gas station or wherever they happen to see a BP logo.
Called “the leak in your hometown,” the app transforms the logo into the source of the deep sea gusher. Just point your phone at the logo and your outrage and sense of futility over the unceasing disaster is rekindled.
If you’re new to augmented reality, it’s technology that overlay’s digital information and imagery onto your view of real-world things, typically using a webcam or smartphone camera as the visual conduit.
The BP gusher app is pretty simplistic as far as AR apps go. Yet it’s a brand manager’s nightmare. As the app’s creators describe on their blog …

An important component of the project is that it uses BP’s corporate logo as a marker, to orient the computer-generated 3D graphics. Basically turning their own logo against them. This repurposing of corporate icons will offer future artists and activists a powerful means of expression which will be easily accessible to the masses and at the same time will be safe and nondestructive.

Remember back when brand managers first swooned over the potential of social media as a new direct-to-consumer marketing channel, not yet realizing how the technology gives consumers their own, sometimes critical, voice? With AR, it’s déjà vu all over again. Google ‘augmented reality’ and ‘marketing’ and you’ll see what I mean. But the effusive praise by marketers will soon be tempered as they discover that AR can be a double-edged sword, as much a threat to their companies’ corporate reputation as it is a powerful marketing tool.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Games Alfresco -- Gonzo-Reality

Games Alfresco
Full story here -- Gonzo-Reality Posted on July 6, 2010 by thomaskcarpenter
The story Bruce Sterling posted up last week on his Wired blog blew my mind. It shouldn’t have really. But I guess I’ve been considering augmented reality and its commercial uses to be official and sanctioned. This kind of unofficial gonzo-view of reality could go a long way.
First, if you’re too lazy to click the link and check out the article, the leak in your hometown gang have made an augmented reality view that shows the oil leak on your smartphone when you point it at any BP logo, assuming you have the proper layer pulled up.
[..... continued]
This project itself seems simple and is quite ingenious.
[..... continued]
And maybe that’s what a gonzo-reality could bring to AR. Instead of a mirror reflecting all of our beliefs into an ever-increasing sine wave, we might be privy to alternate views to our own. Maybe even trying out how someone else sees the world.
Or maybe we couldn’t handle their viewpoint. The overstimulating rush would make our realities spin around us until we puked it back out, losing all those alternate nutrients our world views could have used to grow.
Oh well.
It’s a nice little project, anyway.

“the leak in your home town's" u tube gets over 10k views as of today ^^

“the leak in your home town's" u tube gets over 10k views as of today ^^
Watch it again here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Are We Entering the Age of Augmented Trademark Infringement? -- about "the leak in your home town"

Are We Entering the Age of Augmented Trademark Infringement?
Written by Chris Cameron / July 6, 2010

The use of logos or insignias to symbolize a product, service or company is one of the oldest ways for a brand to stand out from competitors and similar products. These days, laws protect the misuse or copying of trademarked brand logos, but as technology evolves and companies find new ways to market their brands, these laws must adapt to cover new possibilities for infringement.

Augmented reality is a popular technology for new media advertising, allowing images, logos and markers to become triggers for 3D experiences on computers and mobile devices. It also could create 21st century legal dilemmas. Who has the right to create AR experiences from trademarked brand logos? Is the age of "augmented reality trademark infringement" rapidly approaching?

Consider a new application being developed in reaction to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The iPhone app - which is still in development - is called "the leak in your hometown," and will let users augment any existing real-world British Petroleum (BP) logo with a virtually rendered oil pipe that is gushing with oil. The app developers, Mark Skwarek and Joseph Hocking, in their own words describe the app as "turning [BP's] own logo against them."

full story here

Trademark owners beware: augmented reality can pollute your brand -- written because of "the leak in your home town"

International – Trademark owners beware: augmented reality can pollute your brand

By Adam Smith
July 07 2010

There’s a new form of trademark infringement on the horizon. For the past few years, brand owners have been scratching their heads over what to do when third parties use their trademarks in online games and virtual worlds. The merging of parody, free speech and trademark infringement has led brands into some murky waters. Now programmers have come up with a new way to play with brand value: augmented reality.

It is an innovation that connects the real world with the virtual world: for example, physical branded products can be augmented in real-time with digital images. Point your camera phone at the logo on a BP service station and the screen displays the now infamous Helios with a gushing oil pipe bursting from its centre. This topical example is the basis for the first brand application of the system.......

Thursday, July 1, 2010

“the leak in your home town” was featured on WIRED’s Beyond the Beyond