Miami-Based Visualitee Will Forever Change What Your Clothes Say About You

Categories: Culture, Fashion
Imagine if someone pointed their phone at your T-shirt and, all of a sudden, you were decked out in a Miami Heat jersey, shooting free throws with Dwayne and Lebron. Or perhaps, wielding a sword and slaying a fantastical beast in a Game of Thrones-esque battle.

Wait. Can this kind of stuff happen in reality? Yes. Well sort of; it happens in augmented reality, people.

Confused? So were we. So we sat down with Miami-based Brian Rosendahl, a key player in the emerging field of augmented reality technology. Among other things that blew our minds, we learned about his latest endeavor: Visualitee, an online marketplace for augmented reality merchandise. Basically, it will sell t-shirts and other items that, when triggered by a computer or smartphone camera, create the aforementioned experiences on-screen.

And you think your clothes say a lot about you. Hah.

Cultist: What is augmented reality? Pretend you're reading the first few lines of "The Idiot's Guide to Augmented Reality." Because we're idiots.
Brian Rosendahl: It's OK. There's a lot of people that don't really know what it is yet. Here's a good example: one of the first augmented reality projects ever was the yellow lines that appear on a football field on TV to indicate yards gained.

Ohhhh, OK! (lightbulb clicks on above head)
Basically what augmented reality is: it takes something natural that a camera sees, and applies a graphic overlay to it. The video camera reads the live action: the room you're in, the t-shirt you're wearing, or anything like that, and the computer that is attached to that camera provides a graphic overlay. However, augmented reality is extremely broad and people are doing a lot of things with it.

(Rosendahl struggles for a moment to put the idea into Idiot Language)

Most basically, it's taking the concept of QR code up a notch. You know what a QR code is, right?

Yes I do, sir. (sighs with relief)
The thing with a QR code is that it's a definite call to action; when you see it, you know what to do with it. However, it's boring and black and white and ugly. Now, augmented reality allows us to look at any image, any logo, any picture, and make that a trigger for something to happen on-screen, whether it's on a computer or a mobile device.

Got it. Now, what exactly does Visualitee do?
Visualitee is going to be an e-commerce site dedicated to all augmented reality merchandise from any vendor. T-shirts, backpacks, posters, stickers -- when you go to that site, you will be able to find it.

I've done a lot of homework on this, and retailers are starting to adopt into [the augmented reality business]. Now, we feel that our advantage on the Web is that we can show exactly what each item can do. They're never going to have that ability at Macy's. They're never going to invest in the technology setup necessary -- cameras, flat-screen TVs -- to sell a T-shirt. We can do that easily online.

What's more, we're going to have it all. If it's an augmented reality item, we will have it.

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