At Augmented Mountain we have been developing Augmented Reality (AR) apps for almost two years. We do this using our powerful and unique programming language called Palimpsest. The name pays homage to Archimedes' manuscript which contains hundreds of pages of math and theories explaining and questioning reality. Our version of Palimpsest allows us to build dynamic interactive computer generated environments which transform real world geographies. While developing AR apps at Augmented Mountain we have been improving Palimpsest every step of the way. AR is a new frontier in digital media and Palimpsest can lead the way with your help.
We are pleased to be kicking off our campaign at the Scope Art Fair in NYC. Augmented Mountain has partnered with Scope to develop an ongoing app called Outer Spaces. Outer Spaces builds augmented galleries for our clients to showcase whatever they like. The Outer Spaces app has built galleries for Red-Bull, VH1, Fiat, and a wide range of art organizations and museums.
Right now we are at Scope in NYC which is being held at the huge Post Office in Midtown on 8th Ave between 32nd and 33rd. If you are in New York come to the fair and visit our Outer Spaces booth... Let's talk about the future of AR and enjoy tons of art. We wanted to synchronize our fundraising with Scope because they have been our first big contributors to our Open Source Project. Over the last year they have helped with R&D by giving us office space in Brooklyn, booth space at the fairs in Miami and New York, and introducing us to a hundred interesting people who are building bridges to join programming with art.
sourcing Palimpsest will revolutionize the world of AR, but we need
your help to get it out there. There are a few critical steps we need
to take in order to ensure you get the best AR toolkit out there.
These will require all of our time, another C++ and Lua programmer, a
web graphic designer, and a lot of lunches for our interns and
is a unique AR language based on Lua, that makes creation of AR
worlds, fun, quick and easy. With Palimpsest you can create complex
and dynamic interactive, immersive, and user reactive experiences
from start to finish in a matter of a few minutes to a few hours.
This may take you days, weeks or even months with conventional,
roll-your-own methods that are currently out there.
One – Take thousands of lines Palimpsest code and organize them
into a central trunk.
Two – Finish coding of the core features for Palimpsest 1.0. These
features are listed below. Many of these are already finished, but
there are some that still need quite a lot of work and testing.
Three – Test, test, and more testing of Palimpsest 1.0 so you won't
have to deal with bugs when it is released.
Four – If we meet our stretch goals, we will be packaging
Palimpsest into a user friendly interface. This will be great for
those who aren't programmers. Think of Adobe Creative Suite with a
toolkit that allows you to make augmented reality apps. The more
money we raise the friendlier version 1.0 will be.
release, Palimpsest 1.0 will offer:
- Organic User Interface options.
is a basic set of View management objects that allow you to show
images, text, and other 2D graphical interface objects as an overlay
to the 3D immersive view. For the basic goal, these will be simple
interface objects. If we meet our $100,000 stretch goal, they will
be updated to be more complete, responsive, and have a look and feel
that is native to any device they may eventually run on.
can project 3D models over a camera display so that they appear to be
located at specific GPS locations of your choosing. 3D models can be
made in your favorite tool (we recommend Blender), and imported into
Palimpsest. We currently use a special version of the wavefront obj
filetype, but support for other formats may be added in the future.
Unique GPS location system.
envisions places as more than just singular points on a map. Places
are collections of objects that are related in some way. A place is
it's own origin that 3D models, sounds, and other objects can be
added to. If a place moves, it's collection moves with it. This
allows for much more dynamic and interesting interaction with
physical space than the conventional single-location-single-object
model of other systems. Palimpsest also has many tools for
calculating locations that account for latitude, longitude, altitude,
and the curvature of the earth.
Palimpsest adds an event based system to it's Lua under-structure. You can
add proximity detectors that react to a users movement into and out
of an area, you can react to the users tilt and heading or compass
direction, you can detect touch events, or other user initiated
actions. There are high level event structures, like proximities, or
if you need finer control, you can react directly to every GPS, tilt,
or other movement.
Timer based animation.
are currently two types of timers, Interval Timers and Line Timers.
An Interval Timer fires at discrete intervals, for as long as the
timer is told to repeat. Line Timers fire successively over a period
of time, until that time is reached. Both are effective for creating
animations and events that need updating at periodic intervals.
Dynamic 3-D sound.
use the OpenAL system for playback of sound. Sounds can be attached
to locations, and will appear to be emanating from those locations.
We support a multitude of sound compression formats, although some
formats present hardware limitations on the number of sounds you can
A dynamic and powerful scripting language for creating AR worlds
is based on Lua, and thus gains all the power of the Lua scripting
engine. Lua is small, fast, powerful, and easy to use. If you have
as easy to learn. Many other organizations use Lua, and it is
gaining more and more support for its power and ease of use.
The ability to create independent apps
is compiled as a Framework for Xcode. Just import the framework into
your own project, add your own artwork and icons, throw your
Palimpsest scripts in, and you are on your way! We will even make
pre-made templates to get you started, but releasing your app is up
mode allows users to bring GPS located projects to their location if
they are unable to physically visit a place. For instance, if you
are making a project that is to be displayed in France, but you live
in San Francisco, you may want to test your app without having to buy
a plane ticket. Just turn debug mode on, and view your AR world from
anywhere you want. Debug mode even works when there is not a
reliable GPS signal.
system is fully, and transparently multithreaded in the background,
so that loading of objects and other time consuming tasks don't
interrupt your ability to interact and react to the user.
In app web browsing
incorporates a fully functional web browser, and exposes an interface
so that the web browser can interact directly with your Palimpsest
script. You could make an app that loads a new web page whenever the
user enters a place of interest, or you can bring up an html page
that lets the use make a choice from a menu that then gets processed
by your underlying Palimpsest script. The possibilities are endless.
1.0 will incorporate a powerful, transparent networking interface.
Want to store models and sounds on your server, and load them
dynamically depending on where a user is? Just pass a url to your
model, and the system will fire an event when the model is finished
loading. Or if you want to store user preferences so that they can
be shared with other users of the app, just tell the system to upload
your file or text, and the system will take care of the rest. Want
finer control? Setup a callback that alerts you when new data is
available during the download process, or requests data during the
will be open source and so will be any modifications made to it. As
scientists, educators, business owners, artists, storytellers, and
enthusiasts of all kinds build AR worlds with Palimpsest, the trunk
grows and the possibilities will become infinite. We believe that
Augmented Reality is the future, and we want to fostering the
community by creating tools for you to express your imagination. We
want to see what you will make.
Imagination, Any Place.
we go beyond the initial goal then we will release all this other stuff...
add JSON support. With JSON, you would define your
objects and all of their important features in one simplified script,
which then can be imported directly into Palimpsest, or be included
in a Lua script. In web terms, think of this as the layout engine (or
HTML equivalent) for Palimpsest. While Palimpsest is already easy and
fast to learn and use, this would make it even faster to create
dynamic AR worlds, and make it more accessible for those who don't
want to have to do as much programming. This would also simplify the
automatic creation of scripts by server-side web tools.
add a frame based animation system. The basic Palimpsest system has
support for animation by using timers. The new animation system would be as
simple as providing a start point, end point, a time interval, and an
object (or objects). Animations can run
once, or repeat as many times as you like. And if you want more fine
control, you can always add callbacks that let you know where in the
animation sequence you are at. The animation system will allow for
aggregating objects, so you can define an animation once, and use it
multiple times and with single objects, or groups of objects. It
will also have both an absolute mode, for objects you want to move
based on a known coordinate system, and a relative mode, for when you
want objects to move from the position they are currently in, to
another relative position. Finally, the animation engine will be
tied to the frame rendering loop, so that it is scheduled to operate
at the most opportune time for the most efficient operation.
hire a professional tech writer to write documentation for
Palimpsest. In addition to the simple “getting started” guide
and function reference, at this level will allow us to document every
major feature of the language, in a way that is easy to understand.
We already have a successful, published tech writer, who has offered
his services at a premium. He has used Palimpsest in it's very
pre-alpha state, and is intrigued by the possibilities it presents. The
documentation will be released as both a web-based manual (perhaps
through a wiki), as a pdf, and as free ebook.
create several tutorial scripts and projects, in conjunction with the
manual, that detail how to use Palimpsest. We will cover
functionality from the most basic how to get started, to the most
complex interactive features. Use the tutorials to get a deeper
understanding of the underlying principles, and then as a jumping off
point for your own creations.
will add lighting and shader effects so that you can have more
control over the look and feel of the objects within Palimpsest.
There is currently no lighting system in Palimpsest, so all objects
must be pre-rendered with any shadows or other lighting features.
With this added feature, you can control lighting on the fly, and add
complex surface transformations limited only by your imagination.
Imagine being able to change the way a 3D object looks based on the
time of day. Or making objects appear to be watery, or appear to
have a “shiny” surface. This would make all of that possible.
provide a library of ready made 3D objects, sounds, images, and
scripts for you to use as you like. These will be made freely
available to the community to include in your own projects, or to
work with when going through the tutorials provided at the lower
tier. We will also provide a library of drop-in script components
that have pre-made behaviors. Use these scripts with our library of
objects, or use your own. Modify the script to your liking, or use
it out of the box. Use your imagination.
gets a user friendly developer application on the Mac. The
application would have a graphical interface, with easy to use
controls that automate the creation of AR worlds. Drag and drop 3D
objects, move them into place, animate them, add sounds, user
interactions, and proximity and other user event processors, all
without touching a line of code. The system will be live, so changes
you make will be visible immediately, without having to compile or
re-run anything. And if you want more control, you can access the
underlying script and modify it directly by hand. For the
programmer, you get a tool that directly aids you in the creation and
testing of your Augmented Reality app, without taking away any of the
control over the details that you love. In addition, this product
will allow complete non-programmers to get into the action, and start
letting their imagination run wild.
make the above developer application available on Windows.
add Android support. This will widen the reach of Palimpsest to a
much larger audience. Android support will include
all the features above on devices which can support them. There are
a wide range of Android devices, and available hardware and software
features that each device can support. So we will make sure that
Palimpsest runs on whatever the current developer device is from
Google, as well as several of the most popular devices, as long as
they support the hardware and software requirements of the app.
add surface recognition. Palimpsest was originally created as a GPS
based system, which means it requires a GPS signal for locating
objects in space. Other AR systems available on the market use image
processing techniques to allow objects to be attached to surfaces,
through recognition of tags or other visible features. This has
several effects – it brings the ability to use AR into spaces
without reliable (or any) GPS signal, and it tends to track more
accurately than GPS. On the down side, it can often lose it's
tracking ability if the image it is following isn't fully visible,
and doesn't work so well outside, where conditions can be much more
variable than a controlled indoor environment. When used in
conjunction with GPS, the downside of GPS (no tracking indoors, can
be jumpy outdoors), as well as the downsides of image tracking (not
so good outdoors, can lose focus if the image is not clear) can be
mitigated by using the strengths of both together. This stretch goal
would allow us to put in support for image tracking techniques, that
can be used in conjunction with all the other features that
Palimpsest already supports.
Risks and challenges
Without your help it might be another year before we complete Palimpsest 1.0 and release it. By that time you might have had to compromise by paying for something that does a lot less than Palimpsest can do. If we make our goal, in a year, you will see Palimpsest 2.0 and that will be proof that Palimpsest will always offer you the best AR tools for free!.. Let's get there.
Your name on the about page of the AM Pioneers app. The AM Pioneers app will be released with Palimpsest 1.0. AM Pioneers app will be GPS located in major cities worldwide where you will be able explore pre-release material from Augmented Mountain.
Attach a message to an app we are building using Palimpsest. This app will be a flock of animated birds flying around the world. It will show off Palimpsest's networking capabilities because your donation buys a bird with a message attached to it. Any one using the app can tap a bird flying by and read the message that it is carrying.
Previous tier and a “How Did I Get Here” Oyster City T-shirt or tote bag Oyster City, under development at Augmented Mountain, is an AR, eco-psychogeography walking tour through lower Manhattan. Situated virtual content invites discovery of social and political histories of oysters - used and abused for millennia and now restored by reef constructions that may improve habitat and act as barriers against the rising sea.
Previous tier, plus your original logo or favorite image (copyright by you only please) included in the AM Pioneers gallery. This gallery will grow into a group exhibition showcasing all the different folks involved with open sourcing Palimpsest.
Co-Producer. Previous tier, plus your name as co-producer on the Thank You page for each consecutive release of Palimpsest. You are immortalized as one of the first to recognize the power of the Palimpsest open source library. VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. Scope is one of our partners and one of the world's largest fairs. Enjoy no-lines, free drinks, and exclusive previews of all art, performance, and music events.
Producer. Your name as a producer on the Thank You page for each consecutive release of Palimpsest, and VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. You will also get a level one Outer Spaces template which is ready for you to fill in the blanks. Outer Spaces is an animated AR gallery in which you can exhibit six images with links to any URL and utilize our awesome 3-D sound! With this template and your assets ready, you can build it in a couple of hours. Your template will be easy to change to suit your needs.
Producer/Bubble Shaper (limit 10). $700 tier, plus you can design a shape for a bubble to be included with our Bubbles AR app. Right now our bubbles are spheres, but you can request any shape... Shooting stars, sports cars, bunny rabbits, your choice. Download Bubbles AR and check it out!
Producer/Bubble Popper (limit 10). $700 tier, plus you can design an explosion and sound for the bubbles when they pop. Right now Bubbles AR has popping noises accompanied by confetti, but this can be anything... A picture of your dog's face and the sound of bagpipes, jewels and gunshots, you decide.
Astronaut. Producer status on the Palimpsest thank you page and VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. You will also get a level three Outer Spaces template which is ready for you to fill in the blanks. You will get a template for 2 types of animated AR galleries. One gallery with 6 images inside and one with 4 spinning cubes inside. The images can have URL links. The cubes are active both inside and outside. Each gallery can utilize our awesome 3-D sound! With this template and your assets ready, you can build it in few hours. Your template will be easy to change to suit your needs.
Game Producer. Executive Producer status on the Palimpsest thank you page and VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. In addition, we will build you an app similar to our Bubble AR app. Your own game. This app will be non-location based, meaning it can be played anywhere by anyone. It will have two OUI features and two interactive assets.
Artist. Executive Producer status on the Palimpsest thank you page and VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. In addition, we will build you an app similar to Silicon Monuments. Download Silicon Monuments and check it out! A walking tour packed with information. This app is location based. Pick four locations and at each of those locations you will have an interactive asset complete with soundtrack and unique interactivity.
Serious Business. Executive Producer status on the Palimpsest thank you page and VIP access to the Scope Art Fair for a year. In addition, we will build you an app similar to Outer Spaces 1.2. A walking tour packed with information. You will get 3 AR galleries to place as a group in 5 locations anywhere. Your galleries can take on any shape on the outside. One gallery with 6 images, one with 4 active cubes, and one gallery with panorama imagery capability. Links to URLs and 3-D sound are also included with each gallery.