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The worlds first augmented reality stamp

Submitted by on Wednesday, 8 September 20108 Comments

If you live in the UK, the next letter that lands on your doormat could be using one of the worlds first augmented reality enabled stamps.

These special stamps celebrate the 50th anniversary of the building of British Rail’s last steam locomotive Evening Star Royal Mail. When activated using the junaio augmented reality browser available free for iPhone and Android users, users are able to watch a short video of Bernard Cribbins reciting the poem ‘Night Mail’.

To activate the poem, users simply need to load the Royal Mail channel in the junaio client and point at one of the special augmented reality enabled stamps.

For those of you not in the UK and want to give the demo a try, the stamps are below.

Night Mail

This project was developed by the UK based digital media agency m2end and the Royal Mail. The technology uses Metaio’s junaio glue platform which is a free platform for developers to build sophisticated image recognition channels for the junaio client. You can find more details here.

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  • Tweets that mention The worlds first augmented reality postage stamp | Augmented Planet -- said:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bazza / 白锐, Augmented Planet. Augmented Planet said: The worlds first augmented reality enabled postage stamp #augmentedreality #iphoneapps #androidapps #stamps @junaio [...]

  • RichSpalding said:

    Ummm, pardon me for trying to tell an AR blog what is and isn’t AR. But that isn’t AR. It’s the same as a QR code, just reacting to the image instead.

  • lester said:

    Hi Richard,

    Augmented reality to some degree has its history in QRCodes (though not everyone agrees). The only real difference is the action taken when recognition occurs, eg either content is rendered or the user is taken somewhere.

    But you are completely correct, the example is visual search. We often find that there is a blurry line between what is and what isn’t AR. Some people will argue that AR browsers are not really valid examples while others question visual search.

    As an example consider both an AR browser that shows POIs in the camera view, and an augmented reality game of space invaders that shows alien ships also in the camera view. Both continue to function if you cover the camera lenses and both claim to be AR apps. The view on their augmentedness is largely down to personal opinion. To give our readers the latest on developments we take the wider all encompassing view on augmented reality that includes the technology as a whole.

    Thanks for keeping us on our toes.


  • RR said:

    This most definitely is not AR. After all, the video itself doesn’t incorporate a single bit of the real world.

    The crucial factor in augmented reality is not image recognition. It is mutual interaction between aspects of the real world and some artificial elements.

    Image recognition is image recognition. Plain pasting of computer graphics on top of a video input is just that. Only when there is interaction between the real world and the virtual elements, does an application become augmented reality.

  • Video in the Unlikeliest of Places: Stamps | Ars Cinematica said:

    [...] Posted on September 8, 2010 by dylanschenker Augmented Planet has the story on the UK’s new AR supplemented stamps. The stamps, which commemorate celebrate the 50th anniversary of the building of British Rail’s [...]

  • Stan Timek said:

    If you’d like to see real, useful and personal augmented reality that you mail then check out

    Our augmented reality greeting cards enable people to actually tell their friends and relatives how much they mean to them! And everyone knows where they have those special greeting cards stored away so you always know where that wonderful video can be found.

    Stan Timek
    Atomic Greetings

    Augmented reality greeting cards done right, with video!

  • london florist said:

    This is great , I can use it for my project, thanks alot

  • Augmented Reality stamps « IDentifEYE said:

    [...] Royal Mail was the first to issue Augmented Reality stamps in 2010. It used junaio [...]

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