From the Editors
Check out these new baseball cards from Topps that turn into pop-up animated 3D images when you hold them up to a webcam! What?! "Topps just released new baseball cards that, when placed in front of a webcam, create 3D characters of the players on the card," says CrunchGear. "It's not just animation, either. You can actually control the players and play simple mini games." OK...uh, what? On top of the card? "Just hold the special 3D Live card in front of a webcam and watch a three-dimensional avatar spring to life," says Engadget. " Rotate the card and the figure rotates in full perspective." On your hand? "The technology is an application of Total Immersion's 'augmented reality,' which debuted at the DEMO conference in 2007," says VentureBeat. "This is about some of the craziest stuff I've ever seen," says Deuce of Davenport. "These cards, when held up to a webcam, will project a computer generated character on the monitor, on top of the card that you're holding, and even allow you to play with the player on the screen." Ah, ok, on the monitor! On the screen. Can we get some slightly geekier folks who understand technology to explain this?
"It's not a hologram that's projected on the card itself," explains Greg Davis, Total Immersion's general manager, at the Techchuck blog. "What you see is the digital overlay on the video stream itself, in real-time." Ok, right. "Interacting with the cards does require you to download a browser plug-in," notes Geek.com. Aha. Thank you. This is pretty cool, says aPARENTly Speaking, "but we'd rather have Dumbledore." "I wonder if the cards will get to play against each other, like the Pokemon cards I saw at CES," says Coolest Gadgets. Wait, we said slightly geekier.