Post-stamps from the future

Postal stamps are not exactly the object associated with the future; quite the opposite, in the times when even doing emailing already looks obsolete and is being replaced by cloud communications, going postal would seem to be anachronism. But not in case of the most recent post stamp set issued by the Dutch TNT together with Rotterdam-based NAi (Nederlands Architecture Institute). Together they produced a hybrid artifact that bridges physical and digital domains and claims to be the first ‘augmented reality’ post-stamps. When ‘seen’ by your web-cam, the stamps display the 3D replicas of the five visionary buildings on your display:

I can’t immediately see any practical use of these stamps, besides their souvenir value. But the name is cool (Toekomst in beweging, literally the Future in Motion, but having in mind the project’s architectural roots, I’d go for the Future under Construction) and it’s worth trying, as they say. Who knows, may be one day somebody will create a viral game of some sort using a similar approach, or something even more interesting.

The post stamps were issued to mark the re-opening of the NAi and its famous exposition “The City of the Netherlands”; read more about the event, and this project, on their website.

ARTotheque: Augmented art from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam-based museum of contemporary art, presented a very interesting project that shows how new technology can impact and change the way art is displayed, and viewed. Together with the MediaLAB Amsterdam, the museum developed a system to present 3D art objects in an augmented reality exhibition. At PICNIC they presented a simplified version of the exhibition, but the potential was clearly visible. There are a few videos already available showing how the exhibition of that sort works in ‘real life’, in this case – at the Museumsquare in Amsterdam.