Friday, November 27, 2015

Grateful Heart: Wonder Pickle and Augmented Reality



Yes. I'm posting a picture of my new Wonder Pickle mug. I realize a "mug shot" may not seem like a Thanksgiving picture, but in my family, this is a source of great rejoicing.

My cousin, Terry, has a new project and it has come together so rapidly that we are all in awe. Well, it seems rapid to us, but maybe not so fast to Terry. 

After thirty years of professional computer programming experience, he has a resume that most of us only dream about. For the past twenty years, he has developed large portions of the video technologies in use today. If you have ever watched a DVD, Video On Demand, Cable, or Satellite, the odds are that some of the video data came from technology he developed.

In addition, he has provided engineering due diligence for several start ups and has led projects varying in size from $550K to $200 million. The most amazing thing, at least to me, is that every project he has led has been delivered successfully, on time, and under budget. 

How's that for a professional dream career? 

Terry's been interested in Augmented Reality (AR) for years, but about six months ago, he had an idea for using AR technology for educational and special education needs. Initially, he collaborated with a team interested in using AR in storytelling. 

Their plans did not work out, and Terry found himself at loose ends. It was a scary time and I can't begin to tell you how much we prayed. 

What looked like a disaster in the making turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

When Terry started talking about a comic book Super-hero called Wonder Pickle, I wondered if he had lost his mind. A Pickle? Really?

He hadn't lost his mind at all. He was finding a new direction. His dreams were about to come true.

Terry is the creator of Wonder Pickle, a comic book superhero who fights evil in all its forms. What's unique about Wonder Pickle is the Augmented Reality enhancement. 

When Ryan delivered my new mug last night, he said, "I think you should look at it with the app." I was doubtful, but I had already downloaded the Wonder Pickle app, so I gave it a try. I positioned my iPhone over the mug and nearly dropped my phone. What a surprise! Here's the WP mug shot:


As you can see, the characters "come to life" in 3D. 

A comic book will be available after the first of the year. This is not the comic book of my childhood. When viewed using the Wonder Pickle app, the characters seem to jump off the page. It's amazing. 

What felt like failure was actually a whole new beginning.

In just a few short weeks, a dream has become a reality.  

My family and I have played with Wonder Pickle for the last few days. Ryan tells me the technology is cutting edge and "very cool". For those of us who read comics in the "old days", this is nothing short of astounding.

If you'd like to share our joy and have a taste of this new technology, go to www.wonderpickle.com and print the targets. Download the Wonder Pickle app from the app store, turn it on, and hover over the targets. Be sure to hold on to your phone. When Wonder Pickle jumps up, it's always a surprise!

If you'd like to pre-order the first-ever Wonder Pickle AR comic book, a Kickstarter will be live December 14th. (I am seriously excited about Pickle, so you can be sure I'll remind you.)

My mug is so cool that I'm trying to convince Terry to make them available for sale. Don't view Wonder Pickle with AR when your mug is full of hot coffee, though. It's far too exciting to risk a burn.

#WonderPickle #TerryDLee #AugmentedReality