JavaScript and its siblings HTML and CSS have grown from lowly beginnings to become the gateway language to (almost) everything new media. Linux and Augmented Reality are the latest to succumb to the “JavaScript everywhere” trend.

Yes Virginia, That Is Linux Running on JavaScript http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/k9zWnzmLxOE/ Wired News: Top Stories Thanks to today’s web browsers, JavaScript has become a very powerful language. Powerful enough to run Linux inside your web browser.

This new framework from Wikitude would have sure come in handy for some of last year’s AR-based NMD capstones.

Augmented Reality: Wikitude ARchitect http://www.wikitude.org/architect (Via Bruce Sterling)

Whenever we looked at Augmented Reality (AR) content platforms, we have always found them far too restrictive for AR content developers. They all offer a handful of features, which often limit the creative ideas AR content developers have. So we at Wikitude thought, “that’s not ideal, we need to change this, and we need to change this NOW!”

Consider this, when developing a webpage, would you be satisfied with only a handful of features especially if you knew there were powerful concepts like HTML, JavaScript and CSS were available which could make your life so much easier, but the web browser forces you to stick to the few features it offers you? We at Wikitude guess you wouldn’t. So, why should you accept this on Augmented Reality Browsers?

We asked ourselves this question a few months ago…..and created ARchitect!

ARchitect – a new way of creating Augmented Reality experiences

The Wikitude ARchitect is an Augmented Reality JavaScript Framework, embedded in a HTML web view which sits on top of the Wikitude camera view and allows developers to control the objects in the camera view. And when I say JavaScript, I don’t mean just another JSON object definition language, I’m really talking about the entire power of the JavaScript language. And when I say HTML, I don’t mean just a special div that can be placed at a predefined spot – nope, it’s the entire HTML specification that will be supported in Wikitude ARchitect. No exceptions, whatever is possible in an ordinary web browser will also be do-able in ARchitect. Promise!

Geolocation drawings by YOU! Concepts behind ARchitect

The three key concepts for us when designing the ARchitect were: 1) Developers shouldn’t be required to learn new concepts or tools. 2) The ARchitect should be very simple to get into, do something meaningful with only a few lines of code. 3) And yet, it should be massively powerful and flexible to create highly complex AR applications.

As we tried out various ideas to achieve these goals, it was rather obvious that HTML in combination with JavaScript was the best way to go!

HTML and JavaScript is all you need to know

Now, let’s have a look at the internals. (((Yes let’s!)))) The Wikitude ARchitect basically consists of two major parts. First, we have the HTML which is placed on top of the camera view. Typically, HTML will contain data which will not move with the user but remain on the screen, whatever the user is looking at. Examples of this would be status and progress bars or an inventory management in an AR game – basically, a heads up display. No additional skills required, it’s HTML with all the associated tools, like CSS or JavaScript, if you know how to create a webpage, you are ready to start developing with the ARchitect!

Second, the heart of ARchitect is the JavaScript library which ties deeply into the application and allows manipulation of the AR objects on the screen. Essentially, you can create virtual objects on the fly, create, place and modify Drawables visualizing the object or react on certain events, for example when an object comes in the field of vision, or when the user comes close to a certain location, and even execute a function you can specify.

Animations by YOU You can animate the objects and their visualizations, make them rotate, scale, disappear, … It’s totally up to you! Play sounds and videos, do network interaction, create interactive games, even with network multiplayer mode, let your phone vibrate, and much much more! With the ARchitect, you finally have a powerful tool in your hand to create incredible, mind-blowing AR applications!

The sky is the limit – realize your ideas

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