N Building in Tokio, first AR building in the world
N Building is a commercial structure located near Tachikawa station amidst a shopping district. Being a commercial building signs or billboards are typically attached to its facade which we feel undermines the structures’ identity. As a solution we thought to use a QR Code (two-dimensional bar code) as the facade itself. By reading the QR Code with your mobile device you will be taken to a site which includes up to date shop information. In this manner we envision a cityscape unhindered by ubiquitous signage and also an improvement to the quality and accuracy of the information itself.
December 15th, 2009 we held an opening which included the limited release of an iPhone application made specifically for N Building.
If a QR Code is static, what could we do with a dynamic device like the iPhone? Our proposed vision of the future is one where the facade of the building disappears, showing those inside who want to be seen. As you press on the characters their comments made on online appear in speech bubbles. You can also browse shop information, make reservations and download coupons. Rather than broadly tagging, we display information specific to the building in a manner in which the virtual (iPhone) serves to enhance the physical (N Building). Our goal is to provide an incentive to visit the space and a virtual connection to space without necessarily being present.
The building is detected in real time by its shape (for an example, see video). Characters are then superimposed over the live video. Twitter feed comments are located via GPS tagging. Store information, reservations and other infrastructure is part of the iPhone application. The iPhone application is not for sale in the iTunes App Store, but is available to interested parties on request. While N Building’s QR code provides a subtle yet important queue to users to take out and use their mobile devices, Qosmo, Inc. is available to implement a similar system for structures without QR Codes or any markers.