Mobile Technology

Oak dock puts augmented reality on the table

Oak dock puts augmented realit...
The Oak dock, along with the game cards and music pads it interacts with
The Oak dock, along with the game cards and music pads it interacts with
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Users are able to interact with the Oak dock using small plastic "totems"
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Users are able to interact with the Oak dock using small plastic "totems"
One game on the Oak app lets players fly a real spaceship through a changing virtual world
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One game on the Oak app lets players fly a real spaceship through a changing virtual world
The Oak dock, along with the game cards and music pads it interacts with
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The Oak dock, along with the game cards and music pads it interacts with
Oak is aimed at musicians, not just gamers
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Oak is aimed at musicians, not just gamers
The Rockstar Pads included with the Oak dock turn it into a mini drum pad
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The Rockstar Pads included with the Oak dock turn it into a mini drum pad
The dock is compact, with the battery built into its base
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The dock is compact, with the battery built into its base
The battery in the Oak dock is said to last around two weeks without a charge
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The battery in the Oak dock is said to last around two weeks without a charge
The Oak dock uses the iPhone camera to build a picture of its surroundings
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The Oak dock uses the iPhone camera to build a picture of its surroundings
The Oak dock needs around one square foot of space to operate
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The Oak dock needs around one square foot of space to operate
The Oak dock is compatible with an iPhone 6 Plus, but requires an extra support to hold one
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The Oak dock is compatible with an iPhone 6 Plus, but requires an extra support to hold one
All folded up, the Oak dock is a similar size to a backup battery
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All folded up, the Oak dock is a similar size to a backup battery
The developer's cube helps programmers come to grips with AR
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The developer's cube helps programmers come to grips with AR
The ToneTree Oak dock is project is raising funds on Kickstarter
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The ToneTree Oak dock is project is raising funds on Kickstarter
Gamers can bring their card battles to life with the Oak dock
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Gamers can bring their card battles to life with the Oak dock
The Oak dock in action
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The Oak dock in action
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Augmented reality has already proven useful for handy car owners and first responders, but its value extends well beyond purely practical applications. The team at ToneTree has created an iPhone dock designed to turn tabletops into an AR playground, for gamers who want to add a new dimension to their battles or budding musicians on the road.

Although ToneTree makes big claims about its capabilities, the Oak dock is fairly simple in its construction. It sits the iPhone above the table, and is said to use its camera to figure out what the space immediately in front of it looks like (though there's no information available on how this is achieved). The dock will house a regular iPhone, although an extra piece is required for plus-size models.

When it's not in use, the dock folds up to about the same size as the smartphone. Although specifics on size/capacity are not revealed, ToneTree says the battery built into the dock should last around two weeks, and charging is handled by a standard USB connector. At the moment it's only compatible with the iPhone, although there are plans to bring an Android version to market as well.

The Oak dock is compatible with an iPhone 6 Plus, but requires an extra support to hold one
The Oak dock is compatible with an iPhone 6 Plus, but requires an extra support to hold one

Once the iPhone is docked and the companion Oak app launched, users are able to interact using cards or small plastic figures. Gamers are able to bring their card battles to life, with animated figures popping up on the screen based on what's going on in the game, while a different mode lets you pilot a real plastic spaceship through an ever-changing virtual world.

Beyond its gaming potential, the team at ToneTree has also tailored the Oak dock to musicians. The system is able to mimic a drum pad using a set of on-table cards called Rockstar Pads, giving users the ability to assign each one a sound. Although there is a set of pre-assigned sounds built into the app, players are also able to connect up with a wide range of music apps and programs using MIDI.

There's a developer kit, too, which includes the company's SDK for people who want to create an app in AR. Although the kit includes a special cube for developers and the full range of totems and cards, instructions about how to print unique 3D and 2D items to use with the system are also on the way.

At the moment, the Oak dock is live on Kickstarter, where it's already surpassed its initial US$30,000 goal with 24 days left. Pledges start at $49, and the full range of totems, cards and pads are included in the box. Deliveries are expected to take place in August 2017.

You can check out the Oak Kickstarter pitch video below.

Source: ToneTree, Kickstarter

Oak: The First Augmented Reality Maker Kit for your iPhone (Canceled)

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