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Todd Suomela

Who Framed Augmented Reality? | Johannah King-Slutzky - 0 views

  • The human/drawing interaction trope that Zuckerberg is rebranding as Facebook’s own innovation even predates animated cartoons. One type of scrapbook, the paper dollhouse, played with the appeal of mixing real-life and an invented world. It was most popular from 1875-1920, and over forty years its form remained consistent: A dollhouse unfolded theatrically to create illusions of progress and depth.
  • Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur is generally considered the first animated cartoon ever, and it made use of the same trope of mixing reality and man-made art when it premiered all the way back in 1914. McCay was a cartoonist famous for the Freudian, surrealist comic Little Nemo in Slumberland, which was published in weekly instalments in the New York Herald and New York American—though its material is more frequently compared to Bosch than to Garfield. McCay, already two hits deep into his career in the first decade of the twentieth century, purportedly decided to animate a comic strip in 1909 on a dare from friends griping about his daunting productivity. Following a brief stint with an animated Nemo, McCay developed Gertie the Dinosaur, an amiable brontosaurus with a stoner grin, and took her on a vaudeville roadshow across America.

  • LAST MONTH Facebook premiered its vision for the future at its development conference, F8. The camera-app technology Mark Zuckerberg calls augmented reality (or AR) borrows heavily from the social network Snapchat, which enables users to layer animated digital content onto photos on the fly. On stage, Zuckerberg promoted this collaging as social media’s first steps toward modish virtual screen manipulations. “This will allow us to create all kinds of things that were only available in the digital world,” Zuckerberg bubbled effusively. “We’re going to interact with them and explore them together.” Taken in, USA Today repeated this claim to innovation, elaborating on the digital mogul’s Jules Verne-like promise: “We will wander not one, but two worlds—the physical and the digital,” For my part, I was particularly delighted by Facebook’s proposal to animate bowls of cereal with marauding cartoon sharks, savoring, perhaps, the insouciant violence I associate with childhood adventure.
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