Stamp-Sized AR Tech Puts Architecture Right in Your Hand

A slow economy and weak real estate market have led to plenty of abandoned construction projects in recent years. It can be a rather frustrating prospect for architects who continue to have great ideas but no outlet for their creativity. The Netherlands Institute of Architecture has come up with a novel and rather entertaining way to give the public access to the buildings that will never be built: putting the in the palms of our hands.

The Netherlands Institute of Architecture and TNT Post (the Dutch postal service) have teamed up to create a remarkable sheet of stamps. Each stamp is printed with a QR code that puts a virtual 3D building right in the palm of your hand when held up in front of a webcam. Five different buildings are featured on the cool augmented reality stamps that bring to life the architecture that otherwise would never been seen by the public.

As an added bonus, holding the entire sheet of stamps up to a webcam makes the Netherlands Institute of Architecture building appear like magic on your screen. This novel use of QR codes is an excellent way to bring the art of architecture to a public that would otherwise be deprived of certain buildings due to budget constraints or planning conflicts.

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See more in Digital Design or under Technology. May, 2011.